Dr. Kalb is blending technology and experience to touch lives, virtually.

A young man on a monitor recovers from another seizure—his third this week. It would be troubling news for any patient, but it was especially puzzling given the fact that he was using anti-seizure medication. Another patient exhibits signs of severe acidosis, much worse than I would expect to see in a guy who simply had too much to drink.

After many years of working in an intensive care unit, I thought I had seen it all. Now, leading a team of intensivists at Advanced ICU Care, I’ve had my horizons stretched. I’ve had the opportunity to see populations of patients on a national scale, presenting a wide range of conditions far beyond the possibilities of a traditional medical setting. These stories are just a couple examples of what we informally call “fascinomas” – fascinating, challenging cases – which I and other tele-ICU doctors see on a day-to-day basis. These illustrate how we are able to save lives from hundreds of miles away. In the first case, I was able to recognize a rare case of ammonia toxicity caused by anti-seizure medicine exacerbating his condition. In the second, we found that the patient was not simply drunk, but he also had ingested anti-freeze.

I credit much of my success in a tele-ICU environment to the ability to apply information that is only discernible after taking in large amounts of patient data. Because I see more patients and they draw from a much wider geography, I can learn from a case in Arizona and recognize a condition in a patient in Kentucky. That view, in particular, let’s me complement the perspective of a bedside doctor or nurse.

Working in the tele-ICU environment trained me to take care of the important details first: blood clotting, fluid levels, blood transfusion practices, antibiotic use, avoiding complications of excessive pain medications, etc. When the monitoring of these areas is neglected, that’s when things begin to go wrong. Fortunately, our tele-ICU technology can provide the continuous support and best practices monitoring that helps ensure that a sepsis case is detected early or that the air volume of a ventilator is set at the most effective level.

Even though it can be very empowering to have so much information at your fingertips, medicine reminds me that it is among the most humbling of practices. While we help save lives each day, we are also reminded regularly that there are limits to the things we can do. For a patient, just knowing that a doctor is there with them during a scary time is important, too. When complications do occur, patients know that an expert is right there with them, doing everything possible to help them.

Some other insights you may enjoy:

The Journal of mHealth Recognizes Advanced ICU Care as a Global Digital Health 100 Honoree
Press

The Journal of mHealth Recognizes Advanced ICU Care as a Global Digital Health 100 Honoree

Advanced ICU Care was recognized for our state-of-the-art tele-ICU services and for treating more ICU patients and saving more lives than any other independent tele-ICU provider in the United States.

HIT Consultant Highlights Opportunity For Tele-ICU to Deliver on Quad Aim
Article

HIT Consultant Highlights Opportunity For Tele-ICU to Deliver on Quad Aim

In an article for HIT Consultant S. Ram Srinivasan, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Advanced ICU Care, provides insights as to how tele-ICU assists hospitals and hospital systems in both addressing critical care burnout and delivering on the Quad Aim.

Advanced ICU Care CMO to Present at Philips Live! Connect2Care 2019
Press

Advanced ICU Care CMO to Present at Philips Live! Connect2Care 2019

Advanced ICU Care’s Chief Medical Officer S. Ram Srinivasan, MD, will serve as a keynote workshop speaker and panelist at Philips Live! Connect2Care 2019 event September 23-25 in Aurora, CO.