Source: Sherman Publications

News
iPod Touch now used by paramedics

by David Fleet

March 19, 2014

Groveland Twp.-A local medical facility is providing some new assistance for cardiac patients.

The Genesys Health Foundation has provided Groveland Township paramedics, along with Flint-based Swartz and Patriot ambulance service, with Apple iPod Touches to assist in speeding vital cardiac patient information to Genesys Regional Medical Center.

The iPod utilizes a mobile operating system similar to a cell phone that is connected with the hospital emergency rooms via the eNet. When a paramedic recognizes a cardiac patient on scene they often run a 12 lead electrocardiogram (EKG) strip—the waveforms produced are then used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats. Using the iTouch, the data is sent directly to the hospital emergency room via the eNet. The information is then evaluated by hospital staff while the patient is still en route to the emergency room.

“Every minute is precious with regard to the heart,” said Steve McGee, township fire chief. “If necessary, the cardiologist could now meet us at the door of the hospital when we arrive.”

McGee also added that often cardiac patients with STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction), a very serious type of heart attack during which one of the heart’s major arteries is blocked, can require emergency surgery.

“Consider, too, that the cardiac team can be ready,” he said. “The data on the patient is waiting right at the hospital when we arrive. We can even send pictures of the patients at the accident scene regarding types of injuries if that helps.”

All data is protected by HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and cannot be retransmitted, added McGee.