Phoning It In - Healthcheck

Article Date: Jul 7, 2010

We can do just about everything on our smart phones these days: pay bills; book a vacation - but monitor a patient? It's true. Technology called AirStrip OB allows doctors to keep a closer eye on moms-to-be with virtual real-time information on their phones.

Leslie Churchill's son weighed less than five pounds at birth but you'd never know that today. Maternal Fetal Specialist, Dr. Michael Barsoom, with Alegent Health, first spotted a problem with Leslie's pregnancy.

Leslie told us, "He said, 'I don't think you're going to make it another month-and-a-half.' And I said, 'I'm doing fine.' He said, 'no, the baby's not growing as fast as we'd like,' so he wanted to induce labor and do a c-section if needed."

Technology helped Dr. Barsoom make a decision.

AirStrip OB works on any smart phone. Select one and a host of information pops up - how far along moms-to-be are; how dilated they are. Doctors can also access cervical exams, vitals, even nurses' notes. And then there's the fetal monitor strip.

Dr. Barsoom said, "Fetal monitor on top, contraction on bottom - it's in real-time so it continues to scroll. Let's say I wanted to see what happened an hour ago. I can scroll back and review the strip."

Dr. Barsoom can access all this as often as he wants, as long as he has Internet connectivity. That's a big change from how things used to be.

"Before I had the AirStrip technology, what I would have to do is I would have to talk to either the resident physician or the nurse and they would have to explain what they were seeing and then based on that explanation I would have to do an interpretation," Dr. Barsoom said.

The monitoring made a big difference for Leslie's son. When Dr. Barsoom noticed a problem at home, he stopped the induction and headed into the hospital for an emergency c-section.

Leslie said, "Once we were in labor, he was watching how the progress was going from at home. I felt a lot more comfortable that he could watch and it wasn't just me at the hospital with the nurses, not knowing."

The end result: a healthy baby.

Dr. Barsoom says new versions of AirStrip technology will alert doctors via text, such as when a patient is dilated to a certain level.

Rebroadcast with permission of WOWT.

Learn more about the AirStrip OB

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