To help reduce fall risks and other safety concerns in hospitalized patients, Emory Healthcare is collaborating with Andor Health to bring virtual patient observer technology to its hospitals. The inpatient monitoring technology will provide an added layer of safety interventions for patients who need additional supervision and care.

Andor Health, a company focused on artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual care experiences, developed ThinkAndor® to empower care teams with relevant clinical content. ThinkAndor® harnesses generative AI to unlock data stored in various systems including ambient listening and real-time visualization — to detect common safety risks, such as falls, self-harm and elopement.

Emory Healthcare, the most comprehensive academic health system in Georgia, will begin piloting the virtual sitter technology in November at two of its hospitals, remotely monitoring at-risk patients on medical and surgical floors and in the emergency departments.

With hospitals across the country still facing staffing shortages, this technology solution allows for AI enablement to observe patients, so team members can return to other direct patient care roles.

“Andor Health’s virtual patient observer/virtual sitter technology expands our virtual health initiatives across Emory Healthcare, while reducing the burden of nurses and other team members,” says Jason Atkins, RN, vice president and chief clinical informatics officer for Emory Digital, a part of Emory Healthcare. “Currently, Emory nursing assistants, nurse technicians or other team members serve as patient sitters for some of our hospitalized patients.”

Andor Health virtual observers, working with registered nurses in a control center, use voice activation technology to talk remotely with at-risk patients and remind them to stay in bed, call for assistance or provide other guidance, while alerting Emory Healthcare staff on-site of safety concerns. The monitoring services will be provided 24/7.

“Fundamentally, we have a shared vision of how we can transform clinical paradigms with the latest innovation in AI and virtual collaboration experiences,” says Raj Toleti, chairman and CEO of Andor Health. “Advances in new technologies like generative AI-based virtual sitting and ambient monitoring open opportunities to reduce operational burdens, staff shortages and costs while allowing the health system to focus on delivering quality care. Progressive health systems like Emory Healthcare can leverage virtual hospital capabilities such as virtual sitting at scale to effectively observe patients while optimizing staff with this additional support.”

Emory Healthcare will invest in Andor Health virtual patient observer/virtual sitter technology in 32 inpatient rooms during the first year of the collaboration and plans to add the technology to 50 additional rooms in the second year.

“We are on a mission to adopt digital innovation and high-tech solutions to assist us in providing safe, quality care to our patients,” says Alistair Erskine, MD, chief information and digital officer for Emory Healthcare. “This collaboration enhances our inpatient monitoring resources at Emory by leveraging virtual and AI capabilities to support the best patient outcomes.