Continuous EEG monitoring is a useful diagnostic tool for identifying a number of important neurological problems and to guide therapy. The problem with continuous EEG monitoring is that it requires specialized techs and consulting neurologists. Last November (2006) Stellate introduced a continuous EEG monitor for the ICU with an impressive array of connectivity features (press release). From an MD Buyline write up:
for operation by ICU staff, while incorporating advanced EEG analysis and
display options. Mindful of space limitations in the ICU environment, the
platform features a small form factor panel PC with touch screen controls.
Vita ICU provides several customizable trending options including Cerebral
Function Monitor display, automatic quantification of Burst Suppression
activity and Color Density Spectral Array that each facilitate quick
identification and review of critical events. Sophisticated seizure detection
programs help capture seizure information that would otherwise be difficult to
identify by physical observation. E-mail and pager alerts can be programmed
for notification of attending physicians while they are away from the ICU. The
networking and remote access feature enables review and intervention when
needed by EEG technologists or clinicians without the need for them to be
physically present in the ICU.
In addition to alarm management, the system provides remote alarm notification via email or pager. Alerts can be defined based on trended values, and all data is stored in a SQL database. The system also supports a webcam video camera for streaming video synchronized to the EEG signal to consulting physicians.
Let's summarize. A continuous EEG monitor designed to be set up and operated by ICU staff rather than a specialized tech, with connectivity to provide immediate remote access to retrospective and near real time patient data for consults. Sounds promising, although it seems they may have made a few newbie connectivity mistakes. Pictured right is the Vita ICU system.