Smartphones can take credit card payments, test your blood sugar level, and now it can send your vital signs to doctors even when they aren’t at your bedside.
AirStrip designed an app that allows doctors to securely access a patient’s vitals from their smartphones. The technology connects a hospital’s bedside devices, such as an E.K.G. machine, a ventilator, a fetal heart monitor etc., to its server and transmits the data to a smartphone or tablet.
The implications for quicker communication are large. Monitors in an ambulance can transmit data to the emergency room so the staff is prepared to treat patients as soon as they arrive. It can ease patient’s mind knowing that their doctors are checking up on them even when they aren’t in the room.
One example of its use is for obstetricians. When in early stages of labor, the app lets the doctor monitor the fetal heartbeat and mother’s contractions, even when not at the hospital or tending to other patients. If there is an emergency, the doctor would be able to identify the risk and get to their patient quicker than if they were paged.
AirStrip is part of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program, an organization that encourages participants to adopt electronic health records with financial incentives. The goal of the program is to improve the quality and efficiency of patient health care.
AirStrip technology is part of a trend of start-ups that have designed technology to improve patient-doctor communication. The average wait time to see a doctor in a metropolitan area is 20 days. Entrepreneurs have responded by starting health care technology companies that are changing the way we interact with the entire system.
“We are about to see a fundamental transformation in the way care is delivered and the way patients are engaged with that care,” said Frank Moss, head of the New Media Medicine Group at the M.I.T. Media Lab, told the New York Times.
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