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CHI Health is the first health care system in the Midwest to offer an innovative patient monitoring solution that allows obstetricians to keep a closer eye on their labor and delivery patients than ever before.

The program is called AirStrip-OB. With the touch of a smart phone, a physician can see a baby's heart rate, a mom's contractions and more from their home, their office, even the soccer field.

Working with existing in-hospital patient monitoring systems AirStrip-OB delivers fetal heart rate and maternal contraction patterns - in virtual real-time directly from the hospital labor and delivery unit to a doctor's smart phone from anywhere the doctor gets a cell-phone connection. This application gives physicians the ability to closely monitor patients 24/7 when they cannot be bedside, allowing 'anywhere, anytime' access to critical patient information. 

"We can tell a lot by a baby's heart beat," said Carol Wilson, RN. "We can tell if a baby likes being in labor, doesn't like what we are doing, is stressed, is sleeping –so many things. If there's a question we would call the doctor and describe that to them." With AirStrip such calls are no longer necessary.

The user-friendly technology made a complicated pregnancy that much easier for Dr. Michael Barsoom, doctor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at CHI Health and and Associate Professor at Creighton University, to monitor. "This technology allows me to monitor the status of my patients in real time, no matter where I am. I can personally evaluate the data and not have to rely on interpretation from others" he said. Through AirStrip Dr. Barsoom kept close tabs on a high risk patient expecting quintuplets. Just before Christmas, the new mom brought home five healthy babies.

CHI Health Clinic OB/GYN Dr. Guy Schropp says AirStrip gives patients and physicians peace of mind.

Tracey van der Velde is in charge of AirStrip technology for CHI Health. It is in use at CHI Health Bergan Mercy, CHI Health Immanuel, CHI Health Lakeside, CHI Health Mercy Council Blufffs and CHI Health Midlands. "What's really neat about this is we are going to add more and more pieces to it," said van der Velde. "Not only heart tones, we can take any chart we have and say, 'want that to come over to the phone'. We can add that so they have freedom to make it user friendly for themselves and for the patients."

AirStrip is a secure program approved by the FDA and is HIPAA-compliant.