iPhone, Android App Shortens Time From Heart Attack to Treatment

mVisum's messaging app sends alerts to physicians' smartphones to notify them of a patient's heart attack and connects to ECG management systems from Philips.

Application developer mVisum aims to shorten physician response time when a patient suffers a heart attack by pushing alerts to an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Microsoft Windows Phone mobile device. The company has developed a mobile tool, called mVisum Cardiology Communication System (CCS), that now connects to Philips electrocardiogram management systems, including TraceMasterVue and IntelliSpace, so doctors can view lab reports and electrocardiograms (ECGs).

CCS is part of the mVisum Alert Platform, a vendor-neutral platform that allows health data to be pushed to physician mobile devices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved mVisum's push-delivery mobile app as a Class 2 mobile device, Praveen Dala, CEO of mVisum, told eWEEK.

Philips and mVisum announced their collaboration on Sept. 4.

"We've partnered with mVisum to deliver a specific workflow around STEMI alert notification," Schnepf told eWEEK.

CCS notifies doctors of heart attacks, or ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI), which occur when a blood clot blocks the coronary arteries leading to the death of the muscle supplying that vessel, Philips reported.

Also referred to as STEMI Alert, CCS delivers lab reports and electrocardiograms (ECGs) to a doctor's smartphone. The physician can then respond to the alert electronically.

A key goal of the app is to reduce the response time in cardiac care, referred to as "door-to-balloon time," said Dala. A balloon is a device inflated during a heart procedure.

Information in the alert includes the sender, care unit, patient name, subject such as "Suspected STEMI" and severity. The "message" field might read "patient age 44 with a history of hypertension, awake with substemal chest pressure."

"A large part of the delay is finding where the physician on call is and getting the physician to respond and having [the doctor] dial in to an EKG management system," said Dala.

The mVisum app can send targeted push workflows, confirm push notifications, prioritize alerts, show physician availability and configure their workflows.

mVisum CCS is the first mobile app to work with Philips' ECG management systems TraceMasterVue and IntelliSpace, according to Bryan Schnepf, senior manager, global outbound marketing, for cardiology informatics, at Philips Healthcare.

mVisum allows images, wave-forms and live-stream data as well as static ECGs to be viewed on the Philips ECG management systems.

TraceMaster Vue enables doctors to view ECGs from any Web-enabled device. Doctors can review, edit, interpret, distribute and store ECG studies from cardiographs, stress systems, holder systems, patient monitors and defibrillators, said Schnepf.

IntelliSpace is Philips' clinical informatics platform that allows physicians to interpret and present critical patient data.

A Philips tool called DXL ECG Algorithm can filter the ECGs for which doctors need to respond. The mVisum Alert Platform then pushes the messages to the doctor's phone, which eliminates the need for physicians to travel back to their desks.

"The goal of Philips' overall mobility strategy is to ensure that clinicians have access to relevant, actionable information in a useful and appropriate format, regardless of location," Michael Mancuso, CEO of patient care and clinical informatics at Philips Healthcare, said in a statement. "The STEMI Alert app is right in line with these overall goals, helping cardiologists to get time-sensitive information as quickly as possible, aiding them in making fast, informed decisions and ultimately improving patient care."

Receiving ECG alerts automatically enables caregivers to potentially bypass the emergency room, said Schnepf.

By being able to respond quicker with CCS alerts rather than wait for a fax, doctors can prevent damage to patients' heart muscles, which can occur when care is delayed, according to mVisum.