Blog Posts‘MyICU’ Bridges Needs to Improve Health Outcomes

‘MyICU’ Bridges Needs to Improve Health Outcomes

Tablet-based application developed with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center facilitates informed, humane care for patients

MyICU InterfaceFor “Bea” a fictional, yet typical senior suffering from a broken hip, the Intensive Care Unit is an unsettling environment. Surrounded by a flurry of clinicians, complicated technologies, and unfamiliar terminology, the 78 year-old grandmother and her family feel detached and cut-off at a most uncertain time.

To bridge those barriers, Aptima is working with a team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to develop MyICU, a tablet-based application that helps better inform and involve patients and families in their healthcare and recovery. MyICU facilitates information sharing amongst the ICU team, patient and family, harmonizing their need for clear and easily understood health and medical information, status updates and answers to questions.

MyICU is being developed as part of a grant awarded to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which funds innovations that improve healthcare and patient outcomes.  Research shows that when patients understand more, they make better decisions that improve their health and satisfaction, and reduce costs.

Patient-Centered “MyICU” Bridges Needs of Patients, Families and Clinical Staff to Improve Health Outcomes

Accessed through a tablet in the patient’s room, or remotely through any PC or mobile device web browser, MyICU’s simple interface is organized around the core themes of CARE, TALK and LEARN.  Using a secure log-in, Bea’s family, some of whom live across country, can view the day-to-day summary of her care and condition, post discussion questions to the ICU staff, schedule meetings, and learn more about her injury and how they can assist her recovery.    

“In working closely with clinicians and patients, the Aptima team identified what was most important to both groups.  MyICU was developed not to replace the face-to-face, but rather to augment and improve the flow of communications, helping keeping the patient and their loved ones informed and aligned with the care team,” said Sylvain Bruni, Aptima’s Project Manager for MyICU and Lead for its Cognitive Systems Integration capability.

Recovering under the fog of medication in an unfamiliar setting can also cause problems of recall and engagement for the severely ill and injured.  Using MyICU, patients can reconstruct their memories, viewing their daily care log and the family updates posted in their private journal.  “The more aware and involved patients are in their health, the more empowered they feel in their path to recovery,” Bruni added.

MyICU also helps the clinical team treat Bea more as a person with a life prior to the injury, than merely a patient.  In the “About Bea” section, photos of Bea’s grandchildren and love of gardening posted by family help the doctors and nurses relate to her in a more personalized and humane manner, with the goal of returning to that life.

Applying its expertise in how people, think, learn and behave, Aptima was contracted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to design an application that could reconcile the needs of both patients and their families, and those of the hospital staff.

Whereas traditional patient portals are typically static repositories of complex medical information, MyICU was designed around the needs of the whole family, from parents to seniors.  Engineered to fit efficiently into the clinical workflow, MyICU features built-in tools for the medical team to interact with Bea and her loved ones, sharing helpful and timely updates, diagrams, and information about her injury, procedures and recovery.    

MyICU is currently being successfully piloted in two ICUs at BIDMC, with a potential roll-out on additional floors and other hospitals in 2016.