When hospital visiting restrictions were introduced in early March 2020 due to COVID-19, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team at UHG appreciated that it was going to be very difficult to keep families and patients in the ICU updated and connected, particularly where family members may be in physical isolation in different locations. In an effort to address these challenges, they reached out to their academic partners in NUI Galway, who in turned reached out to industry contacts in Galway and beyond. NUI GalwayCisco and IBM quickly assembled a team to answer the call and working closely with the ICU and Clinical Engineering teams in UHG, rapidly developed a state-of-the-art video call system specifically for the ICU setting. (Press release

'ICU FamilyLink' is a new video call system introduced at University Hospital Galway (UHG), Ireland which enables contact between families, patients and the clinical teams providing care.

Some key facets of the secure 'ICU FamilyLink' system:

  • Easy for staff to use, even with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Easy to use on large touchscreen with large buttons
  • Caters for multiple ICU bedspaces with one device, that is still low-touch
  • High audio quality, even with noisy ICU equipment in the vicinity
  • High picture quality 

The aim of this web-site is to share the key know-how from the UHG 'ICU FamilyLink' project to assist Clinical/Technical teams developing similar systems. The bespoke system installed in Galway within 3 weeks shows that installation is simple and straightforward. The system balances ease-of-use for hospital staff while maintaining appropriate level of controls and security. Click to get started.

All the equipment and expertise required to get the 'ICU FamilyLink' system operational has been kindly donated by the collaborators and a wider set of supportive organisations.

Content published on this ICU FamilyLink site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence unless otherwise stated.

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