A Consortium of five Baltimore hospitals led by Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine has donated new wireless technology able to transmit electrocardiograms from the field over the internet to hospital-based medical specialists. The real-time, diagnostic-quality EKG data is streamed to the doctors on a variety of devices including PCs or via blackberries or smart phones.
The Consortium in Baltimore includes Johns Hopkins Hospital, John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Saint Agnes Hospital, Sinai Hospital, and Union Memorial Hospital.
The donation to the Baltimore City Fire Department includes 36 broadband units, enough to equip every paramedic unit in the city and have others available during peak service periods. In addition, the five hospitals each have acquired and installed matching software so that emergency physicians and cardiologists can see EKG data as it is transmitted by emergency responders.
When fully operational in the next month or so, emergency physicians at the five hospitals will be able to review EKG data in real-time as it is sent remotely by city medic units. They’ll be able to quickly diagnose whether the patient is experiencing what is known as an ST-elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI. Hospital emergency teams will also be able to get appropriate intervention equipment and other resources ready before the patient even arrives at the hospital.