Mobile telemedicine system beams live video from ambulance to Cincinnati Children's

This is the kind of story we love--so much so that we mentioned this exact case already a few months ago. We refer to the Transport AV telemedicine system in use at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center emergency department, which got the feature treatment in Healthcare IT News last week.

"We didn't even know there was a need before Dr. [Hamilton] Schwartz approached us," Roger Downey, communications manager at GlobalMedia, Scottsdale, Ariz., tells Healthcare IT News, which shows why mobile telemedicine represents such an advance in the standard of emergency and trauma care. GlobalMedia teamed with Cincinnati Children's ED subsidiary Statline--of which Schwartz is medical director--to develop Transport AV.

The system attaches to a stretcher to provide emergency caregivers with video, audio and telemetry signals from patients in transit to the ED. "What we are trying to do is get the patient linked to a physician at the earliest time--at first touch so to speak--when decisions are the most critical," Downey explains.

"It seems that physicians have a greater confidence in prescribing medications, procedures or therapies based on actually seeing their patients," says Becky Baute, senior clinical director for the hospital's critical care transport team.

Unlike other ambulance telemedicine programs we've reported on in Tucson, Ariz., and Baton Rouge, La., the Cincinnati system relies on 3G and 4G mobile data networks rather than a municipal Wi-Fi grid. Range and coverage are better, but image quality occasionally suffers and video streams can get interrupted. For this reason, the system is designed to allow physicians to view stills of the last images they received.

An unexpected benefit of Transport AV has been safer ambulance rides. "By seeing the patient, the physician states that they are more confident in recommending that we do or do not travel with our lights and siren," Baute says.

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