Apollo Hospitals plans to scale up its electronic intensive care units (eICUs) to expand its ‘critical care’ services to far flung areas through remote management.

“Currently, we are managing about 200 of them and we call it the pilot phase. But this can scale up dramatically because in ICU management, timely intervention, instructions and knowledge are crucial. We have practically seen all this is possible and it’s proven,” said Preetha Reddy, Executive Vice-Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group.

She was in conversation with Axilor Ventures chairman S Gopalakrishnan in a virtual session titled ‘Building an Exemplary Enterprise’ at the Global Linkages Summit, ‘Mystic South’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

‘Exciting platform’

“Just imagine, sitting at a hub in Chennai if we can manage ICUs in multiple locations in Tamil Nadu or somewhere even up north. We are even managing a few beds in the US from here. Because of the time zone difference it is working well. So, tele-radiology, tele-cardiology, remote pathology - all these services can be bundled into a very exciting platform in the future,” she added.

The healthcare group introduced eICUs way back in 2014 under a hub-and-spoke model from its Chennai and Hyderabad hospitals.

Digital services

Apollo Hospitals has been betting heavily on digital services in recent times. In February 2020, the healthcare major launched Apollo 24/7, India’s largest omni-channel healthcare platform leveraging the physical network of 71 hospitals. The platform already has 10 million registrations, more than two million weekly active users, delivering more than 16.5 lakh online medicine orders and over 5.7 lakh online consultations with 5,500 doctors across 60 specialities.

On Apollo’s long-term vision, Reddy said, “We have made our digital foray at the right time by launching Apollo 24/7. As an entity, we want to be in the healthcare ecosystem, we want to be in the skilling space, we are passionate about preventive healthcare, ageing population is a frontier that we want to work much more and there is mental health also, which needs to be done.”