Mobile ECG Helps Save Patient Lives


Mobile ECG being used by doctor

“Is there a doctor on board?”

This panicked phrase was heard by cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol as he was flying from Washington, D.C. to San Diego.

Responding to the pilot’s call quickly, Dr. Topol, chief academic officer of Scripps Health and a leading figure in wireless medicine, connected an ECG monitoring device onto his iPhone and performed a cardiogram on a fellow passenger experiencing severe chest pains.  30,000 feet in the air.

Using mobile ECG technology, the doctor determined that the passenger was experiencing a heart attack and recommended an emergency landing. The passenger was rushed to the hospital and survived.

Mobile Devices Enhance Multi-tasking Skills

In more everyday situations on the ground, cardiologists rising use of mobile devices are helping to revolutionize workflow, ensuring more time can be spent on patient care.  Physicians who use mobile devices in their practice report that they are more mobile – but more importantly, more productive – according to a recent CDW survey of 152 healthcare providers. The survey showed that these connected doctors gain over an hour in daily productivity with 74% reporting that mobile devices improve their workflow. A full 84% believe that tablets enhance their multi-tasking skills.

These results confirm data found in the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey, showing that 93% of physicians use a mobile device daily and 80% use them to improve patient care.

“I think it helps make the interaction much more intimate because now I’m sharing the results in real time,” Dr. Topol said.

Topol envisions patients not having to go to the doctor’s office as patients and physicians could be viewing readings simultaneously from a home device. “Anything that we do can be done remotely,” Topol explained.

And as Topol very recently learned, no location is too remote to save a life.

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