US air ambulance service integrates the iPad to access patient care information

20 Sep 2012

US medical transport firm Mercy Jets is drawing on the power of the iPad by integrating it into its air ambulance flights, so that medical teams can use an application to access patient care information in real-time while in the skies.

Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Mercy Jets is an air ambulance company, repatriation and medical escort service that carries out emergency and non-emergency transport of patients in both the US and worldwide.

The company, which was founded in 2009 by John Bohn, finalised testing of iPad integration on its air ambulance flights back in March.

According to Bohn, who has also worked in the US Military, the iPad app that is now available on the Mercy Jets service means that the technology automates the monitoring of a patient’s vital signs while they are being transported, as well as helping to record patient interactions.

He said the aim is to ensure complete continuity of care while patients, who are often in a critical condition, are being transported.

So how does the iPad app work? Bohn said that it uses a data link between the iPad and the medical equipment on board the aircraft, automatically recording a patient’s vital signs into an electronic medical record (EMR).

“It tracks the treatments given to the patient and will alert the medical team to any status changes in the patient. It means we can easily identify which procedures have been carried out and what medications have been administered,” he said.

As well as this, Bohn said that the medical data that can then be forwarded to the facility receiving the patient so that healthcare providers will have up-to-date information when the patient arrives.

Another advantage of the new system is that it eliminates the challenge of trying to decipher handwritten notes by caregivers at the receiving facility, said Bohn.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic