Inventor discusses the future of emergency mobile telemedicine

In our "Also Noted" section today, we mention some new telemedicine breakthroughs from medical inventor R. Lee Heath, the same person who developed the technology that underlies the automatic external defibrillator. Who is Heath and why is he someone to keep an eye on in the world of telemedicine and mobile healthcare? A recent interview in EMS Professional magazine answers those questions.

His current company, LifeBot, helps design communications systems for emergency medical care and--thanks to some Department of Homeland Security grants and contracts--response to mass-casualty incidents. Heath also had a hand in the mobile teletrauma video links now in use in Tucson, Ariz., and Baton Rouge, La., that FierceMobileHealthcare profiled in one of our first issues earlier this year. Those Wi-Fi-based systems were built with federal seed money, but the next generation of wireless Internet technology promises to cover a much broader area with a single router and be more suited for use in a motor vehicle such as an ambulance. Expect costs to plummet even as speed and network reliability increase.

"The door is opening and you can concentrate on quality patient care while patient data flows transparently to the hospital," Heath says. "Less talking and more patient care will be the end result of current trends."

To learn more about Heath:
- check out this EMS Professional feature (.pdf)