CodeHeart speeds emergency care at Washington hospital

By Bernie Monegain
03:18 PM

Washington Hospital Center and AT&T have launched CodeHeart, an app for doctors that provides a real-time video and audio stream that can be used to remotely examine patients in emergencies.
Cardiologists can download the custom app to their personal devices, turning smartphones into medical instruments and allowing physicians to simultaneously:

  • assess a patient’s physical condition;
  • talk with the patient’s first responder;
  • review test results, such as electrocardiograms (ECG); and
  • prepare for the patient’s arrival to the emergency room.

Until recently, Washington Hospital Center, a 926-bed teaching hospital that is part of MedStar Health, relied on fax machines to transmit important patient information. It could take up to 10 minutes send or receive information. CodeHeart gives doctors instant access to critical information, helping save time and lives, say hospital executives.

See how Code Heart work in this video.

With CodeHeart, hospital cardiologists can view, in real-time, a patient's condition while simultaneously speaking with the patient’s first responder or the attending emergency department (ED) physician. The solution also provides physicians the ability to view vital signs and test results – such as electrocardiograms (ECG)  captured through the real-time video feed.

The custom application can be downloaded to mobile devices of authorized physicians or hospital workstations. It allows instant streaming or video archiving via AT&T’s network,  and it is designed to transport and store protected health information in accordance with the HIPAA Security Rule.
The Hospital Center’s care team will be able to determine in advance how to prepare for treatment – either with immediate preparation in the ED, by dispatching physicians to a patient in the field who cannot be readily transported, or by allocating physicians to the most critical patients once they arrive.
Washington Hospital Center has implemented the solution at six hospital sites to date. The hospital center serves patients located hundreds of miles from Washington, D.C. The CodeHeart application allows physicians and first responders to view a patient’s condition remotely in both rural and urban markets. 
“Washington Hospital Center has been in the forefront in heart care for decades,” said Lowell Satler, MD, director of Interventional Cardiology at the Hospital Center. “When it comes to treating a patient who appears to be suffering from chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, every second counts."