News is in the eye of the beholder


After more than nine years on the healthcare beat, mostly in the IT arena, I like to think I've got a pretty good handle on what's news and what's hype. Just check any of my critiques of personal health records over at FierceEMR, for example. Occasionally, though, I slip up.

In last week's FierceMobileHealthcare, we ran a story about the emergency medical service in Brevard County, Fla., hooking up 40 ambulances and at least 53 other EMS units with Bluetooth technology and mobile modems to transmit EKG readings to emergency departments, with the goal of cutting "door-to-balloon time" for heart attack patients. The story came from Florida Today, a local newspaper along Florida's Space Coast.

I guess it was big news for residents of Brevard County, whose chances of surviving a heart attack seemingly will increase. I thought the Bluetooth angle was significant enough for FierceMobileHealthcare readers to care. And maybe many of you do. But the two comments that have been posted to date indicate that at least some readers thought this was a snoozer. "We were doing this back in the 1970's, for heaven's sake. You hooked the LifePak up to the big Motorola radio and transmitted to the E.R.," said "Former EMT."

Either I dropped the ball on this one, or the good people of Brevard County have been needlessly dying for decades. Which is it? - Neil

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