ZOLL Medical Corp has some smart people working on their products and a couple of innovations were standouts at EMS World Expo 2011.
The first is the RescueNet 12-Lead.
For a long time I've been preaching about the importance of making 12-lead ECG transmission simple, cost-effective, and interoperable with existing technologies.
As our good friend Ivan Rokos, M.D. said to heartwire back in April 2009:
"It seems incredible that we can email a photograph around the world, but we haven’t yet found an easy way of transmitting an ECG to a nearby hospital."
The reality is that the technology was always there but industry has had little incentive to make it cost-effective or interoperable. Better to charge subscription fees for ECG transmission and make sure that customers are locked into proprietary software. That way you're more likely to continue using Brand X when it's time for a monitor upgrade. After all, now you're committed to a platform. A solution.
In what seems a huge leap of faith, ZOLL Medical Corporation has unlocked the doors. Here's Amy Smith, ZOLL's Director of Data Integration on the EMS Leadership podcast.
"RescueNet 12-Lead is the first fully web-based 12-lead management system. No proprietary software to install. All we need is an internet connection and a web browser to allow EMS and hospitals quick, rapid access anywhere within the world to their critical 12-lead data…ZOLL is offering this service at no cost to EMS and hospitals as an extension of the care we provide through our defibrillator devices."
When asked if other monitors could use this platform for ECG transmission:
"Absolutely. ZOLL has architected this with open architecture in mind. We will be making available to all of the defibrillator vendors in this market space our APIs that will give them the opportunity at no cost to them to also transmit their 12-lead data into the system. So where we have STEMI regions that use multiple devices…they have an opportunity to use a single software system to receive and manage those 12-leads regardless of their defibrillator devices."
I was so impressed with this that I mentioned it to Jon Cloutier (Marketing Manager for EMS) who said, simply, "We listened."
Yes, Jon. You did!
I went over to the ZOLL both and watched as Amy transmitted a 12-lead ECG from a ZOLL M-series monitor to the RescueNet 12-Lead with a simple cell phone connection.
I said, "Looks good! Can you forward it to my email?" She said, "Absolutely!" Moments later she had entered my email address into the computer and my Droid X vibrated in my pocket.
The 12-lead was attached as a 98K .pdf document.
Piece of cake!
You couldn't ask for much more. It's nice to see ZOLL step up to the plate and solve this problem. Clearly ZOLL is looking at regional STEMI systems and seeing customers to be served rather than cows to be milked. That's a huge gesture of good faith on their part and will go a long way toward building trust between ZOLL and their customer base.