Cone Health celebrates 10 years of life-saving technology

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Doctors and nurses check on their intensive care patients as they go from room to room at Greensboro's Moses Cone Memorial Hospital. But the medical staff doesn't always have to be in the room for patients to receive care. Intensive care nurses like Marilyn Watson can be found on the other side of the camera.

"The critical patients we will check on three to four times a day. We can camera in and speak to every patient," Watson said.

With tele ICU, doctors and nurses can talk to patients or assist doctors from a central location. Medical staff can also constantly check vital signs like heartbeat, blood pressure and oxygen levels 24 hours a day. Dr. Rakesh Alva says tele ICU is a valuable service.

"When I tell a family my partner will be behind the camera looking in after hours the reaction is, 'Wow,'" Alva said.

As the staff celebrates the 10th anniversary of tele ICU, it is estimated that the program has saved 3,000 lives. Watson recalls when scans showed that a patient was in trouble.

"The patient suddenly was in severe distress and needed CPR and saved that patient,” Watson said.

Alva adds the system brings comfort to families.

Cone Health's 163 ICU beds are connected to tele ICU. High Point Regional also has a similar system.