AirStrip Combines EHR, Medical Device Feeds For Mobile

Dignity Health will be first to try application that lets doctors view on their mobile devices a snapshot of clinical data across different vendors' electronic health record systems.

Ken Terry, Contributor

March 1, 2013

4 Min Read

9 Mobile EHRs Compete For Doctors' Attention

9 Mobile EHRs Compete For Doctors' Attention

9 Mobile EHRs Compete For Doctors' Attention(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

AirStrip Technologies, a San Antonio-based IT firm, has launched a new application that, it says, allows physicians to view a snapshot of clinical data across multiple electronic health record systems on their tablets and smartphones, along with data from medical devices and patient monitors.

AirStrip is known for providing physicians with mobile medical device feeds. It started with fetal monitoring devices, later adding cardiology and patient monitoring systems. Its latest product, called AirStrip One, presents cross-platform EHR data -- including vital signs, allergies, medications, medical images and lab results -- alongside information generated by the medical device.

The major EHR vendors allow the use of their systems on mobile devices, but none of them enables physicians to see data generated by other vendors' systems, AirStrip CEO Alan Portela told InformationWeek Healthcare. A key goal of AirStrip One, he noted, is to provide physicians with a single view of patient data so they don't have to switch from one system to another as they move between different care settings.

[ These mobile health apps from the government are for consumers and doctors alike. Read 10 Mobile Health Apps From Uncle Sam. ]

AirStrip One's first customer will be San Francisco-based Dignity Health, the former Catholic Healthcare West, which operates more than 40 hospitals and care centers in California, Nevada and Arizona. Dignity initially will implement the mobile application in late spring at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Ariz., and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center in Gilbert, Ariz., in support of its fledgling accountable care organization in that area.

Later, Dignity Health plans to introduce AirStrip One at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, as well as in an employed physician group in that market. The practice uses an Allscripts EHR, and Dignity is now implementing a Cerner system in the hospital, said Scott Whyte, VP of IT administration for Dignity Health, in an interview.

Dignity plans to interface Cerner with Allscripts, but only for lab orders and results. "AirStrip One isn't intended to replace that function [on mobile devices]," said Whyte. But when physicians are working in the office, he noted, they might be unable to access the Cerner system. In fact, many primary care physicians no longer go to the hospital, so they don't have any access to the hospital EHR. "For a lot of physicians, being able to access the information on a mobile device, even if it’s a subset of the data, will be very useful," he said. For example, they might be able to get information on a patient's hospital stay before the discharge summary is available, or have the summary pushed to their mobile device.

Dignity chose AirStrip One, he said, partly because of a positive experience with the company's FDA-approved medical device applications. For example, the fetal monitoring feed to mobile devices enabled obstetricians to see whether they needed to place orders or go into the hospital if a mother and her fetus were in distress. The application was successful in a pilot hospital and has now been rolled out across the Dignity organization, he said.

Dignity has internal health information exchanges in each of its regions, and it would like to connect AirStrip to its Arizona HIE in order to get the capability out to physicians more quickly, Whyte said. AirStrip said that HIE connectivity will be available later this year.

On a strategic level, Whyte said, Dignity's hospitals are moving toward greater collaboration with doctors, long-term-care facilities and other providers, including competing hospitals that serve the same patients. All of this is part of Dignity's response to the changes going on in healthcare delivery and reimbursement, he said.

In this environment, he said, "We want to make sure physicians have real-time access to patient data wherever they are, whenever they need it, so they can improve outcomes and access to care and also help us reduce costs."

Airstrip is not the only vendor to offer a cross-platform viewing solution for mobile devices. HIE vendor Orion Health, for example, recently introduced a mobile application that allows providers to see key patient information on their iPhones. A version for iPads is promised in the future.

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About the Author(s)

Ken Terry


Ken Terry is a freelance healthcare writer, specializing in health IT. A former technology editor of Medical Economics Magazine, he is also the author of the book Rx For Healthcare Reform.

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