Catholic West inks $4.3M deal with AirStrip

By Brian Dolan

AirstripOBThe fifth largest health system in the US, Catholic Healthcare West, has inked a $4.3 million 3-year deal with AirStrip Technologies to use the company's AirStripOB application at 32 of its system's hospitals. AirStripOB was the very first iPhone app to receive medical device clearance from the FDA.

AirStripOB gives physicians mobile access to data from fetal monitors, like fetal heartbeats, maternal contraction patterns and vital signs, as well as from the care facility's labor and delivery documentation system. AirStripOB is available for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android devices. The app enables doctors to remotely monitor patients and see up to four hours of data.

Out of CHW's 40 hospitals, 32 will implement AirStripOB since those are the ones that have birthing facilities. CHW piloted AirStrip at two of its California hospitals, Mercy Medical Center and Sequoia Hospital.

The hospitals within CHW's system are just 40 of the some 200 hospitals that AirStrip's CEO Alan Portela said the company signed on as customers in the past year: “That’s more than we added in the first 5 years of the company,” Portela said at an industry event in Brussels this past September.

At the event Portela also offered up a compelling and simply analogy for how he views mobile clinical apps and EMRs:

“EMRs are platforms,” Portela said. “The same way that your computer has an [operating system] — EMRs are the OS. You benefit from the apps that you put on top of the OS, while you don’t benefit so much from the OS. I gave this talk at Microsoft recently — they didn’t like that line so much.” Not surprisingly, Portela believes that the value of health information systems will be realized on mobile devices: “Mobile will enhance every aspect of the EMR you deploy” and ”all physicians will have smartphones by 2013,” he said.

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For more on the CHW deal with AirStrip, check out the press release below:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Nov 15, 2011 -- Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), the nation's fifth largest health system, announced today it will implement AirStrip OB across its three-state hospital system. The technology will provide CHW-affiliated physicians with remote access to up to four hours of patient monitoring data, including fetal heartbeats, maternal contraction patterns, and vital signs.

"Giving our physicians the ability to view this data remotely, in near real-time, is an important component of ensuring the safety of moms and their newborns," said Robert Wiebe, MD, CHW's Chief Medical Officer. "We are pleased to be able to provide this advanced technology to physicians and patients across our system."

AirStrip OB collects data from fetal monitors, as well as the hospital's labor and delivery documentation system, and transmits information in near real-time to the physician's mobile handheld device. Doctors can receive this confidential patient data securely on a wide range of mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android. The technology is FDA cleared and compliant with all HIPAA patient confidentiality requirements.

The technology means that doctors can be at the bedside virtually, even when they can't be present for every hour of labor. Traditionally, nurses read bedside monitors, call a doctor and verbally describe what they are seeing. With AirStrip OB, doctors can remotely monitor their patients and see up to four hours of data.

Of CHW's 40 hospitals, 32 have birthing centers and will be implementing the technology. The total value of the three-year contract is $4.3 million. Two California hospitals, Mercy Medical Center in Redding and Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, were first in their regions to make this technology available to their patients and served as pilot sites for CHW.

"CHW is improving the safety of new moms and their newborns by giving physicians the ability to view data critical to quality care anywhere, anytime," said John D. Hoff, MD, obstetrics/gynecology. "This technology enables doctors to identify and troubleshoot problems early and communicate immediately with nurses and other caregivers, when necessary. This advancement will result in faster, more comprehensive care, while giving patients and care providers greater peace of mind."

About Catholic Healthcare West Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 40 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is one of the nation's largest not-for-profit health care systems and the largest private hospital system in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of nearly 10,000 physicians and approximately 54,000 employees provides health care services to more than five million people annually. In 2011, CHW provided more than $1.4 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at .

About AirStrip Technologies, Inc. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, AirStrip Technologies is a pioneer in mobile medical software applications designed to work across any platform to improve patient safety and reduce risk in the healthcare setting. AirStrip Technologies engages, consults and employs leading technology and medical experts to ensure their products are the best in the industry. The core technology team is committed to bringing best-of-breed products to the market that enhance the ability of physicians and healthcare professionals to perform their work on a daily basis with the added assurances that their patients are being provided the best care available. Visit for more information.

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