Tele-Critical Care: An Update From the Society of Critical Care Medicine Tele-ICU Committee

Crit Care Med. 2020 Apr;48(4):553-561. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004190.


Objectives: In 2014, the Tele-ICU Committee of the Society of Critical Care Medicine published an article regarding the state of ICU telemedicine, one better defined today as tele-critical care. Given the rapid evolution in the field, the authors now provide an updated review.

Data sources and study selection: We searched PubMed and OVID for peer-reviewed literature published between 2010 and 2018 related to significant developments in tele-critical care, including its prevalence, function, activity, and technologies. Search terms included electronic ICU, tele-ICU, critical care telemedicine, and ICU telemedicine with appropriate descriptors relevant to each sub-section. Additionally, information from surveys done by the Society of Critical Care Medicine was included given the relevance to the discussion and was referenced accordingly.

Data extraction and data synthesis: Tele-critical care continues to evolve in multiple domains, including organizational structure, technologies, expanded-use case scenarios, and novel applications. Insights have been gained in economic impact and human and organizational factors affecting tele-critical care delivery. Legislation and credentialing continue to significantly influence the pace of tele-critical care growth and adoption.

Conclusions: Tele-critical care is an established mechanism to leverage critical care expertise to ICUs and beyond, but systematic research comparing different models, approaches, and technologies is still needed.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Critical Care / organization & administration*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Peer Review, Research
  • Remote Consultation / organization & administration
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • United States