Ascom and consortium partners receive EU funding award for a European research project on "Smart and Silent ICU”

The "Smart and Silent ICU" research project awarded by the EU Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) 1 investigates the clinical benefits of networked medical technology and the connection of AI modules. Half of the total investment of around EUR 18 million is funded by the EU research and innovation program Horizon Europe 2. As part of the “Smart and Silent ICU” project, Ascom, a worldwide leader in clinical workflow solutions, will carry out with Dräger, a leading medical and safety technology company, and medical and scientific institutions in Europe, two out of four research projects over a period of three years. University hospitals in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain are involved in the research project.

November 28, 2023

Many alarms in intensive care units can cause stress and alarm fatigue for staff and patients. This can affect the health of intensive care patients in particular and lead to longer stays in hospital. The focus of the overall research project “Smart and Silent ICU” is to reduce the burden of alarm overloads and improve data evaluation with AI (Artificial intelligence) applications. Medical devices and hospital IT must be able to receive or send clinical data in an open, secure network infrastructure, regardless of the manufacturer. This is made possible by the SDC infrastructure (Service Oriented Device Connectivity) developed by the non-profit organization OR.NET and compatible with the widely used hospital standard HL7. A system architecture, based on SDC, enables data from various devices and systems to be collected and analyzed centrally. AI applications can use this information to recognize patterns. Clinical studies are investigating the extent to which clinical staff can recognize changes earlier and be supported in therapy decisions.

In collaboration with the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Ascom's part is to investigate the impact on the healing process when bedside alarms are muted, using the Ascom Silent Medical Alarms Solution to create a quiet environment for the patient, while still being safely distributed to nurses. In a second project at the Universitair Medisch Centrum, Utrecht, nurses and intensive care physicians will simulate using Ascom solutions and use algorithms to assess the relevance of clinical alarms, based on patient clinical data. The findings could help to prioritize alarms better and initiate more targeted workflows.

Other research projects of consortium partners related to the “Smart and Silent ICU” project include the evaluation of the potential of the SDC standard to support AI applications. At the Medical University of Vienna, a research group is developing and validating functional algorithms that can analyze the condition of intensive care patients in real-time and detect PICS (Post Intensive Care Syndrome) indicators at an early stage. The cooperation project with the Hospital Clinic Barcelona and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, focuses on analyzing data on the cardiopulmonary interaction of patients. The aim is to develop and clinically validate algorithms for the detection and prediction of adverse health outcomes and specific syndromes.

"Ascom strives for a world where the right information moves people forward. With our workflow solutions, we contribute to improve patient care and clinical therapies, delivering support for better outcomes for the patient, the caregiver, and the hospital. To this end, we deliver innovation in digital workflows and healthcare IT and enable the adoption of the SDC standard. I am very pleased that Ascom is pushing the boundaries of technology innovation and the use of digital healthcare workflows as part of this EU research consortium. We see this as strong confirmation of the interest in and need for innovative, data-driven therapy support", says Nicolas Vanden Abeele, CEO of Ascom.


1 The Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) is a public-private partnership between the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and various industry associations, including MedTech Europe, from the healthcare sector.

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This project has received funding from the Innovative Health Initiative Joint Undertaking (IHI JU) under grant agreement No 101132808. The Joint Undertaking is supported by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation program and by COCIR, EFPIA, Vaccines Europe, EuropaBio, and MedTech Europe.

Funded by the European Union, the private members, and the contributing partners of the IHI Joint Undertaking. However, the views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the parties mentioned. None of the above-mentioned parties can be held responsible for them.

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