Information Technology in Critical Care
There is a broad consensus that twenty-first century healthcare will require intensive use of information technology in order to acquire and analyze data and then manage and disseminate information. No area is more data intensive than the intensive care unit. While there have been major improvements in intensive care monitoring, including the development of enterprise clinical information systems, the medical industry, for the most part, has not incorporated many of the advances in computer science, biomedical engineering, signal processing, and mathematics that many other industries have readily embraced. Acquiring, synchronizing, integrating, and analyzing patient data remains frustratingly difficult because of incompatibilities among monitoring equipment, proprietary limitations from industry, and the absence of standard data formatting. In this paper, we will review the history of computers in the ICU along with commonly used monitoring and data acquisition systems, both those commercially available and those being developed for research purposes including our own efforts toward developing an integrated critical care informatics architecture.
KeywordsCritical care Informatics Monitoring Data acquisition Data analysis Technology Computers
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