iPhone app tracks high-acuity cases for harried docs

There are interesting iPhone apps that are fun to play around with, and then there are iPhone apps that serve a clear clinical purpose. Vigilance is the latter.

The Vigilance app, developed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and marketed by Birmingham, Ala.-based Acuitec, tracks patient vital signs, transmits live video from exam and operating rooms and sends alerts when patients are in distress so doctors can respond even before nurses page them. "I can be more on top of what's happening," Vanderbilit anesthesiologist Dr. Paul St. Jacques tells the Birmingham News. "When I get into a room, frequently people will say, 'I'm so glad you're here,' or 'I was just about to call you.'"

St. Jacques helped create Vigilance--originally on the PC--because he and his colleagues often administer anesthesia to as many as four patients simultaneously. "It's difficult to know what's going on in one O.R. if you're standing in the next one," he explains.

Acuitec, which acquired the marketing license for Vigilance in 2008, has adapted the aggregation software for use in emergency departments and in intensive care units. The iPhone app came along last fall. Vanderbilit plans on using the app to monitor cases in the African nation of Botswana. Acuitec CEO Lionel Tehini sees value in tracking patients in rural areas of America, too.

To learn more:
- have a look at this Birmingham News story