Mobile medical software company AirStrip Technologies and Sprint announced an agreement to offer AirStrip's Remote Patient Monitoring applications on the carrier's smartphones.
RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) is an enterprise platform that can deliver real-time patient data from a hospital monitoring station to a caregiver's phone, desktop or laptop.
Sprint's HTC Evo 4G will run AirStrip's mobile tools, and the carrier will soon offer them on the Samsung Epic 4G handset.
In September, Sprint also added Calgary Scientific's medical imaging app to the Evo 4G.
In addition, AirStrip RPM works on the AT&T and Verizon wireless networks and supports such mobile phones as the Apple iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.
The cloud-based apps conform with HIPAA privacy regulations, AirStrip reports. On July 27, the FDA approved use of AirStrip's RPM applications, which include RPM Critical Care and RPM Cardiology.
Medical professionals use AirStrip RPM in clinical settings, intensive care, operating rooms and neonatal ICUs, according to AirStrip. Doctors can view heart rates and blood pressure as well as trace a fetus' heartbeats, Trey Moore, AirStrip CTO and co-founder, explained in a company video.
As part of the deal, announced on Oct. 19 at the 4G World conference in Chicago, Sprint will provide enhanced coverage inside buildings, and AirStrip will connect more of its employees to the network.
"This partnership enables hospitals to accelerate their adoption of AirStrip in a cost-effective manner, while also ensuring the robust in-building coverage to meet the growing data mobility demands of hospital staff and medical practitioners," Dr. Cameron Powell, AirStrip's president and chief medical officer, said in a statement.
The applications will run on Sprint's 4G network, and hospitals will be able to use any particular device or service carrier, Powell noted.
"AirStrip can be quickly deployed, is easy to use and offers medical professionals the ability to access up-to-the-second medical data from virtually anywhere, anytime-and the Sprint network is a vital enabler," Tim Donahue, Sprint's vice president of industry solutions, said in a statement.
AirStrip OB allows obstetricians to use patient waveform data to monitor fetal heartbeat and maternal contraction patterns on their handsets in real time.
In AirStrip Critical Care, available in early 2011, doctors can keep an eye on vital data such as airway pressure, patterns of ventilator flow and heart rhythms on their handsets.
Also available next year, AirStrip Cardiology allows cardiologists to monitor EKG data, pulse oximetry, ventilator pressure measurements, CO2 levels and arterial pressure.
Meanwhile, in the advanced development stage is AirStrip Laboratory, which displays lab results in accordance with the HL7 (Health Level 7) ISO standard for information sharing. Laboratory will be incorporated into the other AirStrip applications, Sprint reports.
With hospital rollouts encountering the challenges of finances, speed and reliability, Powell is hopeful that the Sprint/AirStrip partnership will be able to address some of these problems.
"The speed of an enterprisewide hospital rollout has sometimes been limited to a certain extent to factors beyond our control, including fiscal concerns, along with network speeds and reliability," Powell said. "This partnership opens up a world of new possibilities."
Other companies offering mobile health monitoring applications include WebMD, MedApps and WellDoc.