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iPad App Lets You 'Consult' With Cardiologist – in Real Time

An Israeli hospital is using iPads to let patients and family members follow heart diagnosis procedures in real time.
By TechIsrael Staff
First Publish: 12/1/2011, 10:57 PM

Beilinson Hospital's iPad App
Beilinson Hospital's iPad App
Courtesy Beilinson Hospital

Family members who want to know how serious of a heart problem a loved one has will be able to “consult” with doctors in real time as they are diagnosing the patient. Advanced technology developed for the Cardiac Catheterization Institute of Beilinson Hospital in Petech Tikvah will allow families of patients undergoing coronary catheterization or angioplasty with the insertion of a stent to watch the procedure in real time – on an iPad!

Heart catheterization is a medical procedure that provides accurate and detailed information about the the heart and arteries that supply it with blood. Information derived from the procedure helps doctors to accurately diagnose heart problems, enabling them to choose the most appropriate treatment. With the new system, both patients and family members will be able to follow the procedure in real time. Patients and family members are thus reassured that everything went well, viewing everything directly and in high resolution.

Prof. Ran Kornovsky, Director of the catheterization institute and organizer of the project, said that the iPad project “heralds a new era of medicine. Instead of explaining to the patient and his family a jumble of words on what the procedure was all about, what we did, and why, I can present the entire procedure on the iPad in a clear and professional manner. This is a different kind of experience that allows us to perform medicine in a way that patients understand.

“I believe that in the near future we will be able to allow family members to view more procedures, including x-Rays, MRI's, CT scans, and more, via the iPad,” he said. “The entire patient experience will change because of the iPad, as will the communications between doctors and patients, focusing more on the issues. We will be able to dispense with descriptions and scenarios, since the information will be more clear to patients,” Prof. Kornovsky added.

The iPad app will collate the information collected during the procedure, from the process of monitoring and measuring pressure inside the heart and the insertion of material to gather information from the blood vessels, through the process of coronary artery expansion and implanting the stents. The information itself will also be visible on the iPad to both patients and family members, allowing them to immediately understand explanations or procedure plans suggested by doctors. The software also allows caregivers to present the patient with information about treatment plans and suggestions for how to deal with their condition, while the patient is still resting in bed.

In addition, the app enables doctors to consult on cases; the iPad's mobility and versatility, along with the app's high security, makes it possible for staff from different departments to consult anytime and anywhere, and measure the patient's progress on-screen. Altogether, the iPad app will raise the level of care for patients significantly, hospital officials say.