AirStrip partners with GE Healthcare again

By: Brian Dolan | Apr 6, 2011        

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AirStrip CardiologyIn a move that echoes the launch strategy for its first mobile remote monitoring app AirStrip OB, AirStrip Technologies has inked a deal with GE Healthcare to bring to market its new AirStrip Cardiology app for the Apple iPhone and iPad.

The partnership enables data from the GE Healthcare MUSE Cardiology Information System to be viewable on iOS devices via the new AirStrip Cardiology app, which promises “a continuous flow of electrocardiograph (ECG) data and interactive historical data access, helping mobile clinicians make more informed care decisions,” according to the companies’ press release.

The new app will help on-call cardiologists move away from a reliance on static ECG images from faxes or cell phone pictures that are easily distorted to the higher resolution AirStrip Cardiology app that can help cardiologists see 0.5 millimeter differences that could lead to better diagnoses, according to the companies.

The FDA cleared the AirStrip Cardiology app as part of its 510(k) clearance of the AirStrip RPM platform last year: “With FDA clearance in place, AirStrip now extends its virtual real time remote patient monitoring technology to a broad array of acute patient clinical settings, which include the intensive care unit, the emergency department, the operating room, the neonatal ICU, and virtually any other care environment,” the company stated in a release at the time.

Previous to that 510(k), AirStrip’s only offering was AirStrip OB, a wireless fetal monitoring surveillance app designed to work on smartphones and PDAs. The OB app received FDA 510(k) clearance in 2004. AirStrip OB helps physicians to more rapidly and thoroughly respond to a nurse call regarding fetal heart tracings or maternal contraction patterns by viewing the real time waveforms remotely using a mobile device, according to its 510(k) document.

Shortly after AirStrip OB first launched it was exclusively sold through GE Healthcare. In fact, AirStrip OB made its debut at HIMSS 2006 as part of GE Healthcare’s booth. At that time eight hospitals were using AirStrip OB and GE had plans to market the app to the 1,500 hospitals around the country that already had GE labor and delivery monitoring equipment installed that was compatible with the app. Hospital system HCA also had approved the app for use at any of its 200 hospitals.

AirStrip’s original exclusive deal with GE made it the exclusive seller of the OB app until 2008. During that time the app’s customer base grew fivefold: By April 2008 AirStrip OB had been installed in 40 hospitals in the US. That’s when AirStrip announced a move to break away from its exclusive relationship with GE Healthcare and become “vendor neutral.”

“With vendor neutrality in place, we can expand our vision of improving patient safety, increasing communication among caregivers and mitigating risk across the country,” Cameron Powell, MD, President and CMO of AirStrip Technologies said at the time.