This article surely has to tweak the interest of any Cardiologist! It is amazing once you give this some thought as the once categorized potential enemy of diagnostic equipment in the medical area is now saving lives. Mayo Clinic has also substantiated this a while back with their findings too. Amazing too is that this system has been in place since June in 2006! Again, this says a lot for professionals jumping outside the box and finding a mobile solution that can in fact save lives and improve the quality of health care.
Being able to view an EKG on the cellphone ahead of the patient arriving can truly be a lifesaving technique and it has cut the time in half to begin treatment! BD
Imagine paramedics mobilizing a team of cardiologists and nurses within minutes of arriving at the home of a person who is having a heart attack, simply by pressing a button that sends an electrocardiogram (ECG) over a wireless network. That's exactly what's being done at a Newark, NJ, medical center, and it's dramatically improving the quality of care, according to a study honored as the best abstract presented at the 30th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), May 9-12, 2007.
At UMDNJ, for example, it took an average of 61 minutes in 2005 just to notify a cardiologist that a patient with a heart attack had arrived at the emergency room. Coupled with the assignment of on-call cardiologists to more than one hospital and the catheterization laboratory's 5 PM closing time, it was virtually impossible to begin catheter-based treatment within 90 minutes. In fact, the average door-to-intervention time-an alternative term used in this study to reflect the full range of catheter techniques available to interventional cardiologists-was nearly 146 minutes in 2005.
Under the guidance of Marc Klapholz, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiology at UMDNJ, the wireless system went live in June 2006. It enables paramedics to use Bluetooth technology to send an ECG not just to the emergency room but also to a receiving station in the cath lab. From there the electrocardiogram is automatically converted to a PDF file and forwarded via the hospital intranet to several e-mail addresses set up just for that purpose.
The on-call cardiologist receives a text message with instructions to download the electrocardiogram for viewing on a smart phone. The file also includes the phone number of the paramedic who initiated transmission of the electrocardiogram, so the cardiologist can immediately be in contact with the ambulance crew. Patients who are clearly having a heart attack are whisked directly to the cath lab.