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Fetal Monitoring From Your Phone

AirStrip Technologies took top honors in InformationWeek Healthcare's Mobile App Smackdown contest.

AirStrip Technologies took top honors in InformationWeek Healthcare's Mobile App Smackdown contest, for its mobile fetal monitoring application. AirStrip OB lets doctors track the progress of a patient in labor even when they're not at the patient's bedside.

AirStrip takes clinical information that's usually tethered to a patient's bedside, including real-time and historical monitoring waveform data, and streams it to a physician's mobile device. Doctors can see data from fetal monitors "anytime, anywhere," says Bruce Brandes, AirStrip's executive VP and chief strategy officer.

With AirStrip OB, a remote physician can communicate with the nurse at a laboring patient's bedside, looking at the same real-time fetal monitoring data that the nurse is seeing. Without a device with an app like AirStrip OB, nurses are asked to verbally describe a waveform that's intended to be visually interpreted, Brandes says. "It's like describing art to someone over the phone. Too often, mistakes are made."

Sixty-four percent of all mistakes that lead to a baby being harmed are the result of a miscommunication, misinterpretation, or failure to recognize fetal distress in monitoring data, he says.

About 700 hospitals and several thousand clinicians are using the app, which is FDA-approved and HIPAA-compliant, Brandes says. AirStrip OB runs on any mobile device and perinatal information system. AirStrip has applied the same technology to AirStrip Cardiology, a mobile app for monitoring patient cardiology data, and later this year will release AirStrip Patient Monitoring, which provides doctors with a cross section of patient monitoring data, including waveform data, vital signs, and medications.

The other finalists in our Mobile App Smackdown were Epocrates Essentials, Robert Bosch Healthcare's Health Buddy System, WakeApp's DermoMap, and WellDoc's DiabetesManager System. --Stacey Peterson (speterson@techweb.com)

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