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NEWS ANALYSIS
24-Feb-2012
Medical App for Remote Docs
 
 
Like most industries, mobility has taken center stage in healthcare. The proof is not only in the growing number of tablets and smartphones being used by physicians, but in the growing number of mobile apps that are being developed.

Like most industries, mobility has taken center stage in healthcare. The proof is not only in the growing number of tablets and smartphones being used by physicians, but in the growing number of mobile apps that are being developed.

Market research firm research2guidance, www.research2guidance.com, for example, forecasts the smartphone application market for mobile healthcare will reach $ 1.3 billion in 2012, up from $718 million in 2011.

Just this week, GE Healthcare, www.gehealthcare.com, launched an app that will give physicians remote access to more than 100 patient measurements via their iPhones and iPads. Called AirStrip Patient Monitoring, the software application helps doctors interact with, manipulate, and zoom in on clinical measurements such as respiratory, blood pressure, and temperature data and access near-realtime patient information flows.

GE teamed up with mobile technology company AirStrip Technologies, www.airstriptech.com, to develop the app. The two companies worked together on the initial app offering, AirStrip Cardiology, which provides cardiologists with cardiac ECG data via their iPads and iPhones.

Designed specifically for remote information access, AirStrip Patient Monitoring gives clinicians access to near realtime data and historical patient information up to 24 hours ago. It also links up with GE’s other patient monitoring platforms, such as the CARESCAPE Monitor B850, CARESCAPE Monitor B650, Solar and Dash monitors, to give physicians access to patient waveforms, vital signs, and other critical clinical measurements on interactive iPad and iPhone displays. Connectivity is powered via CARESCAPE Gateway, which interfaces biomedical devices with hospital information systems.

Because physicians can directly view and zoom in on live clinical measurements, GE says the new app offers physicians greater decision support than traditional mobile viewing applications that provide only limited subsets of data. To keep clinical data secure, it is stored on hospital servers, rather than residing on doctors’ mobile devices.

Thierry Leclercq, GE Healthcare’s general manager of Life Care Solutions, says GE is committed to the driving convergence between mobile technologies, biomedical devices, and clinical information systems.

And it seems like most physicians are on board. According to research from nonprofit IT association CompTIA, www.comptia.org, a growing number of doctors are embracing mobile technology. In a 2011 survey of 350 of healthcare professionals, about 38% of physicians with a mobile device capable of supporting applications were using medical-related apps on a daily basis. What’s more is within the next 12 months, the surveyed physicians expected to increase usage of medical apps to the point where 50% are using them daily.

With more apps like the one announced from AirStrip and GE aiming to make life easier for physicians—enabling them to make critical medical decisions from home instead of the office—it seems logical that those numbers will only increase.

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