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Wednesday, 02 November 2011 04:00

Northwest Medical Center: iPhone, iPad App Supports Patient Safety Following Heart Attacks

After a heart attack, seconds count. The longer it takes to make a treatment decision, the greater the risks for heart muscle. That’s why Dr. Jose Soler, cardiologist at Northwest Medical Center, says “time is muscle.” Weakened heart muscle limits the patient’s ability to pump blood and may ultimately lead to chronic heart...

Using AirStrip Cardiology, Dr. Soler can remotely access data from the GE Healthcare MUSE Cardiology Information System on an iPhone or iPad

Northwest Medical Center: iPhone, iPad App Supports Patient Safety Following Heart Attacks

AirStrip Cardiology, a secure mobile app that helps on-call cardiologists access near-real-time patient data from their iPhone® or iPad.™


 

After a heart attack, seconds count. The longer it takes to make a treatment decision, the greater the risks for heart muscle. That’s why Dr. Jose Soler, cardiologist at Northwest Medical Center, says “time is muscle.” Weakened heart muscle limits the patient’s ability to pump blood and may ultimately lead to chronic heart failure. This is a significant health issue—heart failure affects about 5.7 million Americans.1[1][2]

Traditionally, on-call cardiologists rely on EKG data from a scanned, static image sent via e-mail or fax. It easily distorts upon scanning, a significant issue as millimeter differences impact a patient’s diagnosis. Scanning and faxing ECG images also takes time—a precious commodity. Remote cardiologists urgently need a new approach for reviewing EKGs post-heart attack.   

This year, Northwest Medical Center worked with GE Healthcare and AirStrip Technologies[3]to adopt a mobile strategy addressing the limitations of traditional remote EKG viewing. The center now uses AirStrip Cardiology[4], a secure mobile app that helps on-call cardiologists like Dr. Soler access near-real-time patient data, precise to 0.5 millimeters, from their iPhone® or iPad.™ AirStrip Cardiology helps support clinical decision making and key hospital initiatives like reduction of door-to-balloon time, the time it takes to treat a heart attack patient with angioplasty[5], after he or she arrives at the hospital. This is an important patient safety and quality metric for medical centers nationwide. GE Healthcare’s work to help hospitals like Northwest Medical Center further validates its Patient Safety commitment[6].

Using AirStrip Cardiology, Dr. Soler can remotely access data from the GE Healthcare MUSE Cardiology Information System on an iPhone or iPad. Unlike traditional static images, zooming in on waveforms does not affect visual clarity, providing clinicians with precise measurements for analysis. With AirStrip Cardiology, clinicians can view current data along with historical tests conducted up to one year ago, allowing remote physicians to compare past and present data and interact with the graphs to precisely measure ECG waveforms. This helps clinicians determine if a patient requires an angioplasty. This is a common procedure for improving blood flow—1 million angioplasties are done annually.1

In the coming years, Dr. Soler expects mobile functionality to be a standard part of a doctor’s daily routine. He already uses the AirStrip Cardiology app every day. Having first-hand access to a patient’s data through mobile apps like AirStrip Cardiology—rather than via scanned, static images—is crucial in supporting better, more informed clinical decisions.

 

 

1National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, 2010.


 


References

  1. ^ heart attack (www.nhlbi.nih.gov)
  2. ^ Northwest Medical Center (www.northwestmed.com)
  3. ^ AirStrip Technologies (www.gereports.com)
  4. ^ AirStrip Cardiology (www.businesswire.com)
  5. ^ angioplasty (www.nhlbi.nih.gov)
  6. ^ Patient Safety commitment (newsroom.gehealthcare.com)

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 07:02