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June 6, 2024


10BedICU uses OpenAI’s API to improve India’s critical care infrastructure.

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India faces a significant challenge in healthcare accessibility due to a high doctor-to-patient ratio, geographic barriers, and economic constraints. For instance, the ratio of oncologists to cancer patients in India is approximately 1:2,000(opens in a new window), a stark contrast to the United States’ 1:100. 10BedICU was founded as an initiative of the eGov Foundation(opens in a new window) to address these disparities. 10BedICU aims to elevate India’s critical care infrastructure, widening access to quality healthcare to India’s most underserved communities.

Partnering with the government

Founder Srikanth Nadhamuni got the idea for 10BedICU during the devastating 2021 Delta wave of COVID-19, which saw over 20 million cases in just a few months. With only 2.3 ICU beds per 100,000 people, India’s healthcare infrastructure was quickly overwhelmed. 10BedICU responded swiftly, setting up ICU units in government hospitals and equipping them with the latest medical technology and a telehealth platform called CARE. This platform facilitated remote consultations with specialists, bringing critical care to more rural areas.

“10BedICU is partnering with government hospitals because that’s where the majority of people who cannot afford private hospitals go for critical care,” Nadhamuni explains. “10BedICU provides cutting-edge medical equipment and the government covers ongoing operating costs, including physical hospital space.”

This public-private partnership model enabled 10BedICU to rapidly fundraise and scale in India’s time of need. Today, 10BedICU is a network of over 200 hospitals across nine states, connected through the CARE electronic medical record (EMR) platform.

Now, with the worst of COVID-19 behind us, 10BedICU is set up to deliver ongoing specialized medical care in government hospitals where it previously did not exist. “With 10BedICU, we can now treat patients who otherwise would have needed referrals to specialized medical centers, such as patients with cardiac, cerebrovascular, and respiratory failure cases. We are lowering the barrier to quality healthcare,” says Dr. Subranshu Bhattacharya, Senior Medical Officer at Karimganj Civil Hospital in Assam.

Extending the reach

There still remains a shortage of healthcare specialists in the country. “Our telehealth solution is attempting to bridge this gap, but there are still not enough specialists even in major cities,” Nadhamuni explains. “AI can take us many steps further by simplifying medical providers’ jobs so they have capacity to serve more patients in a day.”

10BedICU has been developing a suite of software tools for its CARE platform that can help medical providers in their daily work and elevate the country’s critical care infrastructure. "In the high-stakes environment of healthcare, precision and accuracy are paramount,” Nadhamuni says. “OpenAI provides the robust technical foundation we require to meet these critical standards, along with powerful multimodal capabilities.” 

10BedICU does not collect personally identifying information and partners with state governments to ensure compliance with privacy and data government laws. New features are tested in partnership with participating states and hospitals with closed feedback loops, and the rollout of new tools is slow and iterative.

10BedICU is currently developing a suite of three tools powered by OpenAI:

  • CARE Scribe: Using OpenAI's Whisper API and GPT-4, CARE Scribe automatically transcribes doctor-patient interactions and converts these conversations directly into structured EMR entries. CARE Scribe supports English, Hindi, Malayalam, and Bengali, making it possible for nurses to speak in their native language. Currently being tested in a palliative care center in Kerala where Malayalam is the primary language, CARE Scribe has been estimated to reduce the time healthcare providers spend entering data into the EMR software by over 50%, allowing providers to spend more time interacting directly with patients. CARE Scribe has also resulted in higher quality data collection, since healthcare providers are now able to speak in their native language.

  • CARE Device Connect: This tool employs GPT-4 Vision to integrate data from older, incompatible hospital monitors into the CARE platform. By capturing monitor readings with high-resolution cameras and uploading the data in real time, CARE Device Connect enables continuous patient monitoring, which can be crucial in critical care settings. 10BedICU is working with the State of Karnataka to pilot the tool across 43 hospitals and hopes to leverage CARE Device Connect to facilitate the transition of existing ICUs to “SmartICUs.”

  • CARE Discharge Summary: This tool, which is also powered by GPT-4, automates the summarization of patient records to ensure seamless continuity of care. Currently being piloted in 50 hospitals across India, CARE Discharge Summary is particularly impactful when serving patients with lengthy medical records, sometimes saving doctors and nurses over an hour of paperwork per patient.

“With OpenAI, 10BedICU is not just enhancing healthcare— we are strengthening India’s healthcare infrastructure, ensuring that anyone in need can access the care they deserve,” Nadhamuni says.

Sapam Ranjan, Manipur’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, agrees. “10BedICU’s integration of AI significantly advances critical care, particularly in remote areas, making high-quality care a reality for more of India’s population.”