Monday, February 22, 2016

Heart Attack Treatment is being Transformed by New Technology

Technological innovation is improving the “time-to-treatment” for heart attack patients. In Houston, Texas, Memorial Hermann-Medical Center and paramedics are working together with the new application “LifeNet” to decrease the time that heart attack patients spend in the Emergency Room before receiving treatment. LifeNet gives paramedics the ability to run tests that they would normally do in the Emergency Room, from the back of the ambulance.
When dealing with heart attacks, time is obviously a very critical factor in helping patients. Being able to get patients into treatments faster by even a couple minutes will prove to be beneficial for their health in the future. LifeNet is making the process much more efficient. Dr. Salman Arain, a cardiologist with Memorial Hermann Heart and Vascular Institute, says “when the patient has a heart attack, the EMS folks who get there will do the electrocardiogram, then they have the capability of transmitting it to the hospital before they even take off.”
LifeNet decreases the time from the heart attack to treatment by 20-30 minutes. The time that is saved by using the new technology will save the patient’s “quality of life” according to Dr. Arain. The more efficient the whole process is, the less difficulty the patient will have later in life. I think LifeNet is something that all doctors and EMT’s should install. I think LifeNet is innovative not only because it will help save lives, but because it decreases the patient’s risk of living with heart failure for the rest of their life.
The article details the story of how LifeNet helped save 52-year-old Robert Hernandez’s life. When Hernandez suffered from a heart attack, paramedics were able to send his ECG to the doctors in the hospital via text message. Without having to perform the ECG in the hospital, they bypassed the Emergency Room entirely and went straight to treatment. “Cardiologists treated [Hernandez] and has his artery back open exactly 52 minutes after 911 was called.”
This article was on the shorter side, and there was still more I wanted to hear about the actual application. I think they could have described how LifeNet runs in better detail. I understand that doctors and paramedics can use LifeNet on their smartphones, but how? I had to do further research to discover that LifeNet “is a comprehensive cloud-based platform.” The video posted below could have been a nice addition to the article, it provides information on how LifeNet works. The news article could have included where else LifeNet is being used, only the hospital in Texas was mentioned. Lastly, the article could have mentioned who sells LifeNet and what the cost is. 


1 comment:

  1. LifeNet seems to be a great invention for patients experiencing heart attacks. It also seems to speed up the rate and the efficiency of doctors and nurses trying to help the patient. I think this is most beneficial to the patient because the amount of time before a patient is treated after having a heart attack can have major effects on the person if they survive such as brain damage or damage to other parts of their bodies if not treated soon enough. I am curious to know how much additional equipment is needed in ambulances now and if it causes more confusion or is able to fit less people. Also I would like to know how quickly the information is able to be transferred to the doctors at the hospital and if there are people whose job it is to receive the information from ambulances and either interpret it, give it to the doctors, or decide the procedure needed and prepare the room for it. The article would be more insightful if they provided the price of installing this equipment into ambulances and if it would be installed in all ambulances, because if not it seems those that have it would take precedent to being seen by a doctor sooner to those that don’t. Also the article could’ve included the price of the equipment and the installment price that comes along with it, and who pays for this to happen. I think some of the complications that could arise through this could be problems with signals and making sure the information is delivered to the hospital in a timely fashion. Also, I think another problem could be too much confusion at the hospital if no one is at the receiving end of the line and passing the messages along. However, I think if this technology is equivalent in accuracy as the ones in the hospital and is able to transfer all the data before the patient even arrives, I think this could be used to save many lives or the quality of many lives. I also think this could free up more time in the emergency room because instead of the doctors spending time evaluating patients who come in after having heart attacks, those patients can go right into the treatment they need while other people in the emergency room waiting room can be seen sooner, since it usually takes a very long time to be seen.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.