Technology | April 06, 2011

Mobile App Lets Clinicians View Current ECG Data on iPads, iPhones

April 6, 2011 – A secure mobile app has been launched that gives clinicians access to precise, near real-time cardiac information. Data from the GE Healthcare MUSE Cardiology Information System is available on iPhones and iPads via AirStrip Cardiology, and enables a continuous flow of electrocardiograph (ECG) data and interactive historical data access.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Texas Health Resources and several other large hospitals and healthcare systems will soon be live with AirStrip Cardiology.

Today, remote physicians commonly view ECG data from static scanned images, which require computer access and easily distort upon zooming. ECGs measure electrical cardiac activities, such as ST elevation, an indication of heart attack risk. Remote ECG measurements are challenging because changes as small as 0.5 millimeters can indicate the presence of a serious or emergency heart condition. AirStrip Cardiology’s high resolution can detect such small differences through completely interactive iPad or iPhone views. Unlike traditional remote diagnostics, zooming in on waveforms does not affect visual clarity. Clinical information is available from 12- and 15-lead ECGs, supporting high precision levels. Clinicians can view current data and historical tests conducted up to one year ago, in ten-second increments.

Regardless of where remote cardiologists are when a critical decision is needed, they can leverage the system to quickly determine the best treatment paths for their patients. This may reduce the need to return to the hospital or access a computer connected to the hospital network. A remote cardiologist can now use the app to precisely measure ECG waveforms, helping on-site ED clinicians determine, for example, if a patient requires cath lab intervention.

“When I am on call, I need instant access to clinical data to help make informed treatment decisions,” said Mark Peterman, M.D., an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, one of Texas Health Resources’ 16 acute-care hospitals. “Traditionally, off-site cardiologists must rely on caregiver descriptions and incomplete information, such as a faxed ECG. Viewing near real-time ECG data from any location, as well as a complete database of prior ECGs, is an incredibly powerful way to increase accuracy of diagnosis.”

Clinicians are early adopters of many wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. According to Spyglass Consulting Group, 94 percent of U.S. physicians are using smartphones to communicate, manage workflows and access medical information.

“Among physicians, there is incredible demand for enterprise medical information on iPhones and iPads,” said Darren Dworkin, CIO at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “This new application introduces secure cardiology decision making anywhere and anytime. The interactive functionality is more advanced than anything else available today and pushes the path toward a day when all clinical hospital information will be available on a mobile platform.”

“Our vision is to eliminate geographic and logistical barriers associated with clinical care,” said Cameron Powell, M.D., president and Chief Medical Officer, AirStrip.

The native application is specifically designed for iPad and iPhone screens, functionality and mobile environments. Instead of clicking through each step with a mouse or keyboard, clinicians can use their fingers and touch to quickly zoom and switch between viewing formats.

In 2010, the FDA cleared the platform behind AirStrip Cardiology. This technology is HIPAA compliant and uses state-of-the-art security protocols and cloud computing to securely transmit information rather than allowing data to reside on the mobile device, thereby enhancing privacy protections.

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