New Tech Friday: Mobile monitoring saves lives and money for hospitalsBy Ben Amirault
When it comes to heart attacks, especially the dreaded ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), minutes can mean the difference between life and death.
AirStrip™ CARDIOLOGY, a product from AirStrip Technologies, allows EMTs to send EKG information to physicians at the hospital ahead of their arrival. This allows physicians to review the patient’s vitals on a mobile device and confirm whether the patient has a STEMI. If so, the hospital can activate the cath lab, so that it is ready when the patient hits the doors.
Recently a firefighter in New York experienced a STEMI while fighting a brush fire. Thanks to AirStrip CARDIOLOGY, the firefighter’s artery was opened within 18 minutes of his entering the hospital. That’s 80% faster than the national benchmark of 90 minutes. See the YNN news report here.
AirStrip Technologies creates a mobile patient monitoring platform and applications that allow physicians to securely access patient information directly from hospital monitoring systems, bedside devices, and electronic health records on their mobile device. AirStrip provides mobile monitoring solutions across three disciplines: obstetrics (OB), cardiology, and patient monitoring.
AirStrip Technologies was born when the company’s co-founder, Stephen Moore, a software developer, approached founder William Cameron Powell, MD, an obstetrician, with a question. He asked, “What would be the ideal mobile app that would make your life easier”. Powell told Moore he would like an app that would let him monitor maternal/fetal waveforms (CTGs) for high-risk pregnancies. That way he could react immediately if there were any complications.
That’s exactly what the company’s first product, AirStrip OB, does. In addition to allowing physicians view patient data in real time, the solution also allows the doctor to review historical waveforms from the previous four hours, annotations, lab values, and progress notes.
AirStrip Technologies CEO Alan Portela says that the company has received hundreds of emails from doctors who use AirStrip OB sharing their success stories. Most say the application allowed them to see complications that they otherwise would have missed.
“We know that there are hundreds of babies in the world today because of AirStrip,” Portela says. “That makes us feel very proud.”
From there, AirStrip expanded its monitoring technology to other areas of the hospital including ICU, CCU, PACU, OR, and ED. However, it’s most successful product to date is AirStrip CARDIOLOGY.
Becoming a ‘must have’
Hospitals that use AirStrip CARDIOLOGY have seen their average length of stay for STEMI patients drop by 0.85 days. According to Portela, this is because physicians are able to clear the block more quickly so that less damage is being done to the heart. These hospitals also have fewer false activations of the cath lab, a $9,000 mistake, because doctors do not need to rely soley on the EMT’s analysis.
These results changed the perception of mobile monitoring in many hospitals’ eyes. Hospitals started seeing mobile monitoring as a “must have” rather than a “nice to have”, Portela says. The company has secured contracts with large healthcare networks and experienced 300% growth from 2010 to 2011.
Just this week, AirStrip announced it has expanded its platform to seamlessly integrate with multiple electronic medical records (EMR) systems such as Cerner Millennium® and the Veterans Administration CPRS/VistATM. This is a great solution for physicians who work in multiple hospitals that use different EMR systems. Using AirStrip, the physician can make notes and documentation on the mobile interface and push it out to the other EMR systems.
“We are looking at enhancing an organization’s investment in EMR, not replacing it,” Portela says.
Mobile monitoring will continue to evolve as more hospitals see its financial and clinical benefits. Pretty exciting stuff!
About Barton Associates
Founded in 2001, Barton Associates is a leading locum tenens staffing company serving physicians, nurse practitioners, and hospitals, medical practices and companies throughout the United States.
About Ben Amirault
Ben Amirault is a Content Marketing Editor at Barton Associates’ Peabody, MA headquarters. Ben writes content for the company website, blog, and other marketing materials. He joined Barton Associates in 2012 after spending four years as an editor at HCPro, a national healthcare publishing company. Ben received a B.A. in English, specializing in Journalism, from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH.