While The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced plans to suspend a number of its health IT projects, reports of one mobile phone-based EKG trial illustrated the kind of innovations the VA has been incubating. One of Sprint's and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion's key healthcare partners, mVisum is working with the VA to test a system that aims to get critical medical information to a physician while they are on their way to a patient's bedside. The technology enables fast transfer of clinical data to a smartphone for review.
The VA has already tested the system internally and found that of 600 EKGs read on a BlackBerry device, 599 were correct diagnoses. Given the accuracy, the trial may point to the potential of this system for remote diagnosing for areas that might lack specialists.
To ensure security, the VA uses a GE Muse server and digital EKG. The mVisum software can detect when an EKG is taken and it makes a copy of both the EKG and its internal EHR. Because the whole system is server-based, the EKG is never stored on the phone, so when the physician logs out the data is gone.
For more on mVisum and the VA pilot, read this report from OhMyGov