The Laura P. and Leland K. Whittier Virtual PICU

What we do

Exploring the Common Information Space in the Pediatric Intensive Care Community


Children’s Critical Care Medicine is at a crucial point in its history. Following three decades of progress, wide variability remains in the quality of pediatric critical care practiced throughout this country. This arises from the isolated and urgent nature of critical care practice.

In general, critical care is provided in the setting of a large, pressing clinical work load managed by a small number of intensivists at any single location. These practitioners develop close relationships and similar practices. They develop their own distinct "unit" style.

No single intensivist or group sees sufficiently large numbers of patients with any particular illness to prospectively determine the best medical practice. Pediatric critical care medicine is practiced in isolated, scattered centers of varying quality with poor communication. Academic Centers of excellence also practice in isolation. Their "cutting edge" practice often remains unchallenged and unshared.

A Common Information Space

We will create a common information space for the international community of care givers providing critical care for children. Every critically ill child will have access to the Virtual PICU which will provide the essential information required to optimize their outcome.

Bringing it back to the bedside

The VPICU is using TITAN X GPUs and deep learning to provide better recommendations of drug treatments in Pediatric Intensive Care Units.



View the poster presented at NVIDIA's 2016 GPU Technology Conference Dr. TED: Deep Learning Recommendation of Treatment from Electronic Data

Secure Data Lake

The VPICU has open sourced their secure data lake infrastructure developed by former Director of Engineering, John Reynolds. There are many methods in which one can spin up instances in the cloud and deploy a Hadoop environment. Our focus is automating a secure and HIPAA compliant Hortonworks instance in AWS. The code is in its early stages, feel free to help us improve it!

The code repository can be found on the public VPICU Stash


Randall C. Wetzel

For Randall C. Wetzel, the quest focuses on artificial intelligence (AI), specifically, informatics engineering novel database systems to support medical decision-making. It’s a passion that has inspired the energies of the chief of the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital for years. In 1998, Dr. Wetzel pioneered the Laura P. and Leland K. Whittier Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and founded VPS, LLC which streams the world’s largest database of pediatric critical care patients - letting the actual evidence of thousands and thousands of patients inform the care for the next one.

Melissa Aczon, PhD - Senior Data Scientist

Brett Bailey - Software Engineer

Alysia Flynn, PhD - Data Ninja

Alec Gunney - Data Scientist

Long Van Ho - Data Scientist

David Ledbetter - Senior Data Scientist

Mohit Mehra - Data Engineer

Mike Reilly - Infrastructure

Paul Vee - Senior Program Manager

Jon Williams, PhD - Lead Data Scientist

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding The Laura P. and Leland K. Whittier Virtual PICU, please send us an email.