The ICU environment is a very chaotic setting with critically ill patients demanding 100% focus from the bedside nurses who are responsible for their care. Given the constant and sometimes overwhelming demands placed on the ICU nursing staff, they have little time to take on any extra burdens, yet effective glucose control using today’s technology has been shown to take up to 2 hours of nursing time per day per patient. Currently blood glucose control in an ICU consists of the nurse drawing blood from the patient, measuring the blood glucose level on a bedside glucose monitor, then either looking up a new intravenous insulin dose on a paper chart or typing the glucose level into a computer and having the computer give a new insulin dose. With the newly recommended insulin dose in hand, the nurse then goes back to the patient’s bedside and manually adjusts the rate of intravenous (IV) insulin on the IV pump. In order to maintain good blood glucose control, the nurse may have to repeat this process on an hourly basis.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Artificial Pancreas system being developed by Ideal Medical Technologies will be a closed loop system that will only require 30 minutes of daily nursing time to manage, with most of this time spent on twice a day glucose sensor calibration and daily replacement of the IV insulin and glucose used by the AI based system. This will allow the nurse to spend 90 more minutes a day on direct patient care, which should serve to improve the overall quality of patient care. In addition, the AI based Artificial Pancreas system will be able effectively keep the ICU patient’s blood glucose level in the range that the treating physician feels is most appropriate, while at the same time avoiding the glucose metrics than can increase morbidity/mortality rates – hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and increased glucose variability. Effective glucose control will have the direct effect of improving patient outcomes and saving healthcare resources, and the indirect effect of allowing the nursing staff to spend more time on direct patient care which should serve to improve the overall quality of care and patient experience.