Royal Philips Electronics today announced it has offered to purchase clinical IT and service provider VISICU Inc., based in Baltimore, for approximately $430 million.

VISICU’s board of directors approved the merger agreement and has recommended the offer to the company’s shareholders.

Equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms, VISICU’s patented clinical IT system, called the eICU program, provides real-time patient monitoring of patients in hospital intensive care units. Critical care physicians and nurses are centrally networked through voice and video capabilities. According to the company, the eICU Program has been shown to reduce patient mortality, length of stay and medical complications, in addition to lowering ICU costs. Through the transaction, the companies plan to integrate VISICU’s remote patient monitoring and clinical decision support technology with Philips’ patient monitors.

Closing of the merger is subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement, the approval of VISICU’s shareholders, and to customary regulatory clearance. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.

Philips Healthcare CEO Steve Rusckowski said the deal builds on Philips’ announcement two weeks ago of its acquisition of clinical IT company Emergin.

Upon completion of the deal, Philips said it intends to capitalize on its extensive sales channel network, accelerating VISICU’s adoption at US hospitals and abroad in addition to applying the technology to other hospital departments.