When we covered the HIMSS conference earlier this year, we had the good fortune to get a product demo from AirStrip VP of Client Services Donna Morrow. For those that need a refresher, the AirStrip app allows for physicians to view real-time patient data on their iPhone and iPad. For example, AirStrip Cardiology allows physicians to view cardiac rhythm strips, ventilator pressure settings, pulse oximetry data, and more. Similar products exist for lab data, imaging, and so on.

What has generally been highlighted about the company are its applications for use within the hospital, e.g. a physician in one part of the hospital being able to check in on the cardiac rhythm of a patient in another. A partnership with Medtronic subsidiary Physio-Control, a defibrillator manufacturer, seeks to extend that reach well beyond the walls of the hospital and allow physicians to start delivering care sooner, even allowing hospital-based physicians to start their evaluation of patients as soon as the EMS crew reaches them in the field.

Take a patient who has just had a heart attack. He feels chest pain, calls 911, and EMS arrives. They give him an aspirin and get him to the ER. In an ideal world, a nurse immediately runs an EKG and a physician is talking to him, gathering critical history to determine whether to rush the patient to the cath lab or whether to get him some Tums. Even at the best and most efficient institutions, once the determination is made that a patient is having a heart attack, it takes some time to then activate the cath lab i.e. get the room ready, gather staff and supplies, and alert the cardiologist.

Through this partnership, this entire process could be further streamlined. Physio-Control’s LIFEPAK defibrillator/cardiac monitors are carried by EMS providers around the country. When they put the leads on the patient in the field, LIFENET, the associated web-based data transmission system, then sends the information to the physician at the receiving hospital via AirStrip’s native mobile device apps. The physician can then immediately identify patient’s who are likely to need catheterization and get the ball rolling, saving critical minutes when the patient finally arrives.

As Dr. Wodajo put it when he met Ms. Morrow,

Even the quickest encounter will again show how amazing this will be to physicians. Multiple waveforms are displayed simultaneously, including ECG, blood pressure, pulse ox and temperature. Other screens will show laboratory data, I&Os. With a single tap, many of these parameters can be graphed over time, quickly showing trends over time. The interface is so fluid and accessible, I predict physicians will be standing at the bedside with all the hospital provided computers and monitors next to them and be looking down at their iPhones since it will be so much quicker and easier.

We were pretty impressed with AirStrip back then. And hopefully when this partnership goes live next year, we will be even more impressed.