Hospital app links emergency docs to EMTs

Washington Hospital Center has created a new mobile app to connect ED physicians and cardiologists with EMTs in the ambulance, providing real-time data and video streams of patient ECGs and other vital signs.

WHC created the new app, CodeHeart, with AT&T for use on smartphones, although they haven't indicated exactly which models the app is enabled for. The target market is the hospital cardiologist, allowing them to view test results and communicate with emergency responders during patient transit.

Doctors can "instantly view a patient's condition and ECGs, guide the first responder on interim treatment and prepare the hospital to provide appropriate care while the patient is en route to the emergency room," AT&T officials said in a statement.

The goal is to connect physicians to the patient so they can begin emergency treatment as soon as possible. It also will allow ED physicians to prepare for any in-hospital testing, procedures or treatment that the patient will need as they enter the emergency room, WHC officials said.

"When it comes to treating a patient who appears to be suffering from chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, every second counts," said Lowell Satler, director of Interventional Cardiology at WHC. And the previous process of exchanging faxes between cardiologists, ED physicians and ambulance techs, took up to 10 minutes for each transmission, hospital officials told FierceMobileHealthcare.

AT&T officials state that the technology is HIPAA-compliant and securely transmits the video, image, and data streams.

To learn more:
- read the CodeHeart press release