WO2016035098A2 - Portable and smart intensive care unit - Google PatentsPortable and smart intensive care unit Download PDF
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- WO2016035098A2 WO2016035098A2 PCT/IN2015/000346 IN2015000346W WO2016035098A2 WO 2016035098 A2 WO2016035098 A2 WO 2016035098A2 IN 2015000346 W IN2015000346 W IN 2015000346W WO 2016035098 A2 WO2016035098 A2 WO 2016035098A2
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- Prior art keywords
- vital sign
- Prior art date
- G06—COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
- G06F—ELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
- G06F19/00—Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific applications
- G06F19/30—Medical informatics, i.e. computer-based analysis or dissemination of patient or disease data
- G06F19/34—Computer-assisted medical diagnosis or treatment, e.g. computerised prescription or delivery of medication or diets, computerised local control of medical devices, medical expert systems or telemedicine
- G06F19/3418—Telemedicine, e.g. remote diagnosis, remote control of instruments or remote monitoring of patient carried devices
PORTABLE AND SMART INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
Field of Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of healthcare, specifically as a portable and smart intensive care unit to be used for critically ill patients. The same combines a real- time, multi-node telemedicine network along with an integrated, computerized drug administration system.
Background of the Invention
Quite often, we see patients dying due to non- availability of doctor on site or because person at site is not authorized to administer any drug without the recommendation of a qualified doctor. Therefore to get a doctor's prescription, either the doctor is called telephonically or the readings of vital sign monitors if any, installed in ambulance or at site, are described to the doctor by the person attending to the patient. The drawback of telephonic communication is that the doctor cannot actually see the monitor and he has to rely on the attendant for the information and further for administering the drug. In such case, the patient may suffer loss due to communication errors between the doctor and the attendant.
Another way of establishing communication with doctor is to use telemedicine technique. Telemedicine is not always a possible solution as it requires supporting hardware like camera and video output devices at both ends. This being a costly affair, is not a preferred solution in country like India. Thus, there is need for a smart and portable ICU which can enable quick and virtual access of a doctor to the patient in real time.
An intensive care unit (ICU) or critical care unit (CCU) is a special department of a hospital or health care facility that helps the patients at a stage of severe illness which may be life threatening. Such stage needs a constant, close and intensive monitoring and support with the help of specialist doctors and specially trained nurses. Special equipment and medication is required to achieve this. Common conditions that are treated within ICU/CCUs include trauma, multiple organ failure and sepsis.
Traditionally, in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) of any hospital, the specialist doctor visits and suggest the medicines to be administered to the patient. This method of carrying the critically ill patient to ICU/CCU and further patient care in the ICU/CCU suffers from a few limitations:
1. Emergency medical technicians present in the ambulances may not be equipped to deal with critical medical situations.
2. Medication over phone may not be accurate as doctor cannot see the patient parameters.
The present invention overcomes these limitations. It discloses a portable and smart intensive care unit which comprises two parts:
a. Remote access diagnostic unit: This comprises means by which the vital parameters of the patients are transmitted wirelessly to a hardware device .e.g. a smart phone / Personal Computer/tablet or any other suitable device, enabling the same to be accessed from a remote location. Doctor can view the vital signs e.g. heartbeat, brain activity^-etc. on his mobile phone , tablet, personal computer etc. and give instructions to the caretaker or person who is at site, with the patient. Doctor can also see the physical condition of the patient with the help of a moving camera fitted in the system. Any external injury can be viewed by the doctor following which he can instruct the care taker using micro phone/ audio system, to take necessary action for first aid.
b. Remote access medicine dispensing unit: A means by which the doctor can control the release of medicine from a remote location, depending upon status of vital signs of the patient. The dispensing is by means of an automatic syringe dispenser. Doctor gives command on his mobile, tablet or personal computer and the appropriate syringe dispenses the required medicine to the patient.
Thus the functions of an intensive care unit viz. to monitor vital signs of the patient in presence of expert medical specialist and also dispensing of medicines can be carried out remotely by means of the present invention. The unit can easily be fitted in ambulance or placed in rural hospitals or primary health care centers, thus enabling access of advanced medical specialists even from remote locations.
The smart and portable ICU of present invention is different from telemedicine and also existing smart ambulances as below: Present invention versus Telemedicine
Telemedicine refers to the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It includes two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology. Video conferencing, transmission of still images, e-health including patient portals, continuing medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing call centers, among other applications, are all considered part of telemedicine and tele-health. Telemedicine however does not place control of dispensing of medicines in the hands of the doctor. He can give oral instructions but cannot dispense the medicine e.g. injections from a remote location.
The present invention provides a fully integrated system in which the doctor not only has REAL TIME ACCESS to the vital parameters of a patient from a remote location, in an easy and convenient manner e.g. on his smartphone, but can also control the release of medicine to the patient e.g. injections, from the remote location, in an easy manner e.g. using the same smartphone.
Present invention versus Ambulance Services with monitors
Ambulances with equipment which monitors vital signs of a patient are already available. However, they do not transmit data in REAL TIME, in a low-cost and convenient manner e.g. on smart phone of the doctor, sitting in a remote location. The present invention enables transmission of vital sign data to a remote location in a low-cost manner e.g. on smart phone of the doctor. Secondly, it also enables the second part of the invention viz. a liquid medicine dispensing system to be activated from a remote location e.g. a syringe dispenser containing life saving medicines can be activated by the doctor after looking at the vital signs of the patient and deciding which medicine needs to be injected and how much. Once he gives the command, the medicine unit of the invention is activated and the requisite quantity of the specific medicine is injected in the patient.
Existing Solutions and Their Drawbacks 1. Mobile ICU system developed by Amrita University, INDIA for the treatment of patients in rural areas. This system suffers from the limitation of using only teiemedicine concept where only the patient condition can be monitored from remote location but drug administration and dosage cannot be controlled from remote location.
2. e-ICU by Fortis Healthcare and GE Healthcare named as Criti Next is powered by GE's Centricity High Acuity Care Solutions and is operationalized by critical care experts. This e-ICU is LIVE and operational covering 34 ICU beds in two small hospitals based in Raipur and Dehradun. However, the system uses very complex and extensive hardware systems, leading to high cost. In contrast, system of present invention is very low-cost, simple and rugged.
Prior Art and its limitations
Advantages offered by invention i. Enables remote delivery of medicines to patient even during transit:
System is operated by doctor from any location using a simple software application. The person monitoring the patient can contact the specialist doctor to share vital information and drug plan.
ii. Enables virtual presence of doctor not only for diagnosis but also treatment: Due to the portability of the system, it can be implemented in ambulances or at the bedside of critically ill patient in remote locations e.g. mountains or rural areas, thereby resulting in timely treatment for critically ill patients. The system is ideal in accidents and trauma cases, pre major surgery and critical cases, post- surgery observation cases. Lifesaving drugs can be planned to be delivered via portable intensive care unit before leaving and plan also changed during transit depending upon the status of vital sign parameters.
OBJECTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION i. The primary object of the present invention is to disclose a smart and intensive care unit (PICU) which not only enables remote access to diagnosis of vital signs of patient but also provides remote access for delivery of medicines to patient by the doctor. ii. A further object of the present invention is to disclose a portable intensive care unit (PICU) capable of not only monitoring vital signs from a remote location but also administering vital life saving medicine.
iii. Yet another object of the present invention is to disclose a smart and portable ICU which can be accessed by doctor from a remote location in a simple manner in real time e.g. using his smart phone.
iv. Yet another object of the present invention is to disclose a simple, rugged system for remote access of vital signs of patient and also remote control of drug delivery in terms of specific medicine and also dosage, said system being capable of being fitted in ambulances or installed at the bedside of critically ill patients in remote locations e.g. mountains or rural areas etc. where medical access in emergency is not available readily.
SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
The present invention discloses a portable and smart intensive care unit which comprises two parts viz. a remote access diagnostic & visual unit and a remote access medicine dispensing unit.
The diagnostic unit comprising of vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1) capable of transmitting vital parameters of the patients, wirelessly to a hardware device e.g. a smart phone/Tablet, enabling the same to be accessed from a remote location. Doctor can view the vital signs e.g. heartbeat, brain activity, lung movement etc. on his mobile phone, tablet, personal computer etc. and give instructions to the caretaker or person who is at site, with the patient. Camera is also attached with the interface (1 or Fig 1) which can be used to show the physical condition or any specific part of patient to doctor.
The remote access dispensing unit comprises a liquid dispensing unit, into which pre filled/ on spot filled multiple output syringes containing life saving drugs are fitted. The unit can be easily controlled from remote location by the doctor e.g. using smart phone. The doctor after viewing vital signs of the patient on his smart phone, in real time, can assess which medicine and how much dose of that medicine is needed. He can then give electronic command and one or more medicines in fixed quantities are injected into the patient. The system is small, light and can easily be transported from one location to another or even fitted in an ambulance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Fig 1: Block diagram of the present invention
1. Interface and movable camera
2. Vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors
3. Infusion Pump
4. Data Base
5. Base Station Server
6. Network of other specialists interface with android and/ or suitable operating system
8. Specialist Physician
9. MANET & VPN
10. Pathological centre
Fig 2: Infusion pump with multiple output syringes
1. Laptop/PC to run Application. 2. Arduino and/ or similar microcontroller/circuit. 3. Stepper Motor
4. Piston rod
5. Actuator Fig 3: Pre filled single syringe
1. Micro Controller and sensors
2. Stepper Motor
5. Liquid Chamber
6. Output Notch
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The present invention discloses a portable and smart intensive care unit which consists of - a remote access diagnostic unit capable of transmitting
a) vital sign data of patient using specially designed in Java and/or C++ and/or Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) multi- threaded coding application software;
b) physical condition of patient in video form by using specially designed Application Programming Interface using Java and or C-Sharp to doctor, in REAL TIME mode through the bigdata (Hadoop Spark and or Storm) and or cloud based base station using Virtual Private Network;
- a remote access medicine dispensing unit capable of dispensing specific medicines in specific dosage by doctor to patient using Micro controller and using arduino and/ or python programming individual motors for each actuator and syringe, with an exceptional handling feature through which the health staff can do manual intervention if need be;
- a low cost interface(l of Fig 1) between vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1) and base station server (5 of Fig 1);
- a Base Station Server (5 of Fig 1) equipped with Bigdata and/ or Cloud with communication format using Java Script Object Notation (JSON) for receiving and transmitting data.
Android/other PC Applications at doctors end.
The diagnostic unit enables vital parameters of the patients to be transmitted wirelessly to a hardware device e.g. a smart phone, enabling the same to be accessed from a remote location. Doctor can view the vital signs e.g. heartbeat, brain activity, lung movement etc. on his mobile phone, tablet, personal computer etc. and give instructions to the caretaker or person who is at site, with the patient.
The remote access dispensing unit comprises a liquid dispensing unit, into which pre filled/ on the spot filled multiple output syringes containing lifesaving drugs are fitted. The unit can be easily controlled from remote location by the doctor e.g. using smart phone. The doctor after viewing vital signs of the patient on his smart phone, in real time and viewing the physical condition of patient, can select which medicine and how much dose of that medicine is needed. He can then give electronic command and one or more medicines in fixed quantities are injected into the patient. The system of the invention is capable of being installed in an ambulance or by patient's bed side thereby making it operational even during the times when a patient is in transit e.g. between patient room, examining room, operating room etc. or when the doctor is not available on site. The system offers a unique advantage of administering the vital life saving medicines by the doctor himself from a remote location using his smart phone only thereby eliminating the need of high end cameras or other electronic systems of communication.
Referring Fig 1, essentially the portable ICU of the present invention needs the following major components:
1 INTERFACE (1 of Fig 1): It is Laptop/Notebook that is connected with vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1) and Infusion Pump (3 of Fig 1). This helps to deliver drug to patient using open/closed loop technology. Interface is further connected with Base station (5 of Fig 1) remotely to send/store patient data. Camera is also attached with the interface (1 or Fig 1) which can be used to show the physical condition or any specific part of patient to doctor. 2 VITAL SIGN MACHINE (VSM)AND/OR VITAL SIGN SENSORS(2 of Fig 1):
VSM is connected with patient to fetch vital signs of patient after a fix interval of 5-10 seconds and send the vital signs to Interface.
The term VITAL SIGN MACHINE (VSM) AND/OR VITAL SIGN SENSORS is being referred to as VSM for further description in the present application.
3 INFUSION PUMP (3 of Fig 1): This comprises pre filled multiple syringes, operated by a system of multiple actuators (3 of Fig 2) and motor (2 of Fig 2). Infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) gets instruction from the interface (1 of Fig 1) and the piston rod (5 of Fig 2) moves the syringe (Fig 3) in a way that the pre- selected medicine is injected into the patient.
4 DATA BASE (4 of Fig 1): Data base is used to store the history of the patient case
(Patient data, Vital signs of the patient and Drug Detail)
5 BASE STATION (5 of Fig 1): Base station is connected remotely with E-Ambulance through Virtual Private Network and it is also connected with Pathological Lab if need be.
6 INTERFACE WITH ANDROID/ OR OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS (6 of Fig 1): This interface helps other specialists to study patient's vital signs and to get connected with patient remotely.
7 PATHOLOGICAL CENTRE (10 of Fig 1): Patient reports can be stored in Base station manually by pathology staff and reports can be generated.
In another embodiment of the present invention, a conferencing system is developed (6 of Fig 1) so that one specialist can consult with other by sending the patients real time parameter. The technician present in ambulance only attaches the vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1), infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) and drip in intravenous and switching the connectivity with doctor. Infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) gets instruction from the doctor's smart phone through interface (1 of Fig 1) and the piston rod (5 of Fig 2) moves the syringe (Fig 3) in a way that the pre- selected medicine is injected into the patient. Therefore once technician attaches the vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig l)and infusion pump (3 of Fig 1), the doctor can deliver the medicine and watch the vital signs during transition time. Doctor can even see the patient through Video Camera if the same is attached in the ambulance and give the instruction to technician for first aid also if need be.
Referring to Fig 2 the infusion pump with multi actuator and multi syringe works with the help of a LAPTOP/PC (1 of Fig 2) on which the application software is run. The MICROCONTROLLER/CIRCUITS (2 of Fig 2) which is Arduino and/ or similar working commercially available micro controller, gives command to the Stepper Motors(3 of Fig 2) connected with Actuators (5 of Fig 2) through piston rod (4 of Fig 2) to move syringe pump in forward direction. There can be any numbers of actuators each having a piston with piston rod (4 of Fig 2) and a high capacity precision ball screw that supports bearing system. Referring Fig 3, the Pre filled single syringe is an electro-mechanical device that is operated with the help of a microcontroller and sensors (1 of Fig 3). The microcontroller and sensors (1 of Fig 3) select the suitable pre filled syringe (Fig 3), controls the direction of actuator (3 of Fig 3) and starts the infusion of medicine from pre-filled liquid chamber (5 of Fig 3) through the output notch (6 of Fig 3).The doctor can stop it by giving a single command from his mobile phone. A complete system to actuate multiple syringes in backward and forward directions, selection of suitable syringe size and user interface is described.
To start using the system of the present invention the doctor needs to download the application in his mobile phone or any other suitable device such as laptop or computer. Following this he gets connected to the complete system of the portable ICU. To intervene and administer a drug, he sends a signal through this phone. Automatically, the selected actuator moves in forward direction with the selected syringe i.e of 20 ml or 50 ml size and selected dosage of medicine and injects the medicine in the patient. The syringes are held with the help of a holding assembly .The system is also capable of infusing medicine manually with the help of user interface. In exceptional case of failure of machine the particular quantity of medicine displayed on screen of interface can also be pushed manually.
Working of the invention
When a patient is picked up from the hospital or from home, immediately the Para-medical staff attaches vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1) at the appropriate places of patient's body and fix drip and pre filled Infusion pump (3 of Fig 1), intravenously. Thereafter, system is connected electronically using wireless means, with the doctor. Doctor views the vital signs of the patient on his mobile in real time as the signals are being transmitted at 10 sec intervals. Doctor can also see the patient through webcam focused on patient. After analyzing the vital signs and condition of patient, doctor can administer the infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) to deliver drug(s). Infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) contains the emergency life-saving drugs in simple syringe. When the doctor gives instructions from Smart phone application to infusion pump (3 of Fig 1), the actuator based syringe (Fig 3) release the specified amount of drugs to patient. If the drug gets exhausted, doctor can instruct the Para-medical staff to attach a new syringe if required. Doctor can consistently watch the vital signs of patient during transportation. If needed, doctor can instruct the attendant through sound system. In an embodiment, a mobile tracking system through GPRS indicates the exact location of the ambulance and the estimated time needed to reach destination.
In another embodiment, the entire process can be recorded by VPN base station and stored in a database for future reference.
The doctor receives the information from the base station (4 of Fig 1), analyses it and wants to administer drug to the patient based on the data received. He simply does so by using his smart phone. The instruction reaches the multiple output infusion pumps (3 of Fig 1) connected to the patient. The pre filled syringes (Fig 3) from this infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) inject the requisite drug as instructed by the doctor through his smart phone in a dosage which is also instructed by the doctor.
To summarize, the method of using the portable and smart intensive care unit of the present invention comprises the following steps:
- Patient is picked up from the hospital or from home and put in the portable and smart intensive care unit;
- Vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig l)is attached at the appropriate places of patient's body;
- Drip and pre filled Infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) is fixed intravenously;
- System is connected electronically by wireless means using Virtual Private Network (9 of Fig 1), with the doctor located remotely;
- Doctor views the vital signs of the patient using his Smart phone application in real time as the signals are being transmitted using Virtual Private Network (9 of Fig l)at 10 sec intervals;
- Doctor sees the patient through IP webcam focused on patient;
- After analyzing the vital signs and physical condition of patient, doctor sends input from Smart phone application to infusion pump interface (1 of Fig 1) through the base station (5 of Fig 1) which is recorded in database (4 of Fig 1) and further transmitted to the microcontroller fitted with infusion pump(l of Fig 3);
- Microcontroller (1 of Fig 3) selects the suitable pre filled syringe (5 of Fig 3) and starts the infusion of medicine from pre-filled liquid chamber (5 of Fig 3) through the output notch (6 of Fig 3) into the patient.
The doctor thus can administer drug in required dose to the patient using the present invention. The system can be installed in an ambulance also which will operate in a similar fashsion. The test bed can be replaced by a stretcher of the same kind making the system portable.
Once the doctor plans and fixes the drugs in infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) of portable intensive care unit system , he can share his patient ID with the concerned specialist of specialized hospital to cross check the drug plan over his/her · smart-phone. Moreover both can monitor the real time vital data of patient while in transition and can. change the drug plan if needed. Even if there would be any sort of universat delay (like traffic, jams) the patient will get planned drugs under the virtual supervision of specialist
NOVELTY: The novelty feature of the present invention lies in developing a low cost portable intensive care unit capable of being operated from a remote location using presently available smart phone technology and which can not only monitor but can also inject vital lifesaving medicines to the patient. The inventors have provided a solution to the problem of non-availability of a qualified doctor on the site when a critically ill patient needs him the most. Existing high cost methods such as telemedicine offered only vital sign monitoring facility or single drug administration possibility. Since not all ambulances can be fitted with high end cameras or other related equipment used in telemedicine, the present invention is very feasible and cost effective as it utilizes only presently available smart phone. Hence the novelty is quite obvious.
INVENTIVE STEP: The technical advancement of knowledge lies in disclosing a system which not only enables remote monitoring of vital signs and physical condition of a patient but also remote dispensing of medicines. The system is the outcome of a systematic integration of software, electronic controls and mechanical operation of various parts and devices of the overall system consisting of a remote controlled medicine dispensing unit; a diagnostic unit and a low-cost interface between sensors and base station server. The parts are as elaborated below:
The dispensing of medicines has been achieved by use of a remote controlled multiple syringe infusion pump (3 of Fig l)in the portable ICU. The pump can be actuated by doctor through his/her mobile smart phone and can inject the required medication. The infusion pump (3 of Fig 1) is fitted with a syringe holder with multiple syringes. Doctor can select the type and size of pre-filled syringe as well as the dosage of the medicine through his smart phone interface. The unit uses Micro controller and Arduino and/ or python programming of individual motors for each actuator and syringe.
The remote access diagnostic unit is capable of transmitting vital sign data of patient using specially designed Java and/or C++ and/or Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC)multi threaded coding application software and transmitting physical condition of patient in video form by using specially designed Application Programming Interface using Java and or C- Sharp to doctor, in REAL TIME mode through the bigdata (Hadoop Spark and or Storm) and or cloud based base station using Virtual Private Network. A low cost interface (1 of Fig l)has been developed between vital sign machine and/or vital sign sensors (2 of Fig 1) and base station server (5 of Fig 1). The Base Station Server (5 of Fig 1) equipped with Bigdata and/ or Cloud with communication format using Java Script Object Notation (JSON) for receiving and transmitting data. Android/other PC Applications are used at doctor's end.
INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION: The present invention is applicable in healthcare and therefore has a wide range of application. It can be a life saver for critically ill patients, for rural area patients and for wounded soldiers. In any location where qualified doctors cannot reach, presence of this system can act as 'virtual doctor'. The smart and portable ICU is low- cost as it makes use of 'off the shelf components, utilizes existing communication technology and can be a boon for victims of accidents or patients who need to be transported over long distances before they get access to medical doctors.
In the preceding detailed description, the invention is described with reference to exemplary drawings thereof. Various modifications and changes may be made thereto without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the claims. The specification and drawings are accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense. Thus without analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can , by applying current knowledge , readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.
Priority Applications (2)
|Application Number||Priority Date||Filing Date||Title|
|Publication Number||Publication Date|
|WO2016035098A2 true WO2016035098A2 (en)||2016-03-10|
|WO2016035098A3 WO2016035098A3 (en)||2016-06-30|
|WO2016035098A4 WO2016035098A4 (en)||2016-08-18|
Family Applications (1)
|Application Number||Title||Priority Date||Filing Date|
|PCT/IN2015/000346 WO2016035098A2 (en)||2014-09-05||2015-09-04||Portable and smart intensive care unit|
Country Status (1)
|WO (1)||WO2016035098A2 (en)|
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|Publication number||Priority date||Publication date||Assignee||Title|
|US4370983A (en) *||1971-01-20||1983-02-01||Lichtenstein Eric Stefan||Computer-control medical care system|
|US5341854A (en) *||1989-09-28||1994-08-30||Alberta Research Council||Robotic drug dispensing system|
|US6009346A (en) *||1998-01-02||1999-12-28||Electromagnetic Bracing Systems, Inc.||Automated transdermal drug delivery system|
|US6925357B2 (en) *||2002-07-25||2005-08-02||Intouch Health, Inc.||Medical tele-robotic system|
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- 2015-09-04 WO PCT/IN2015/000346 patent/WO2016035098A2/en active Application Filing
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