Case Study: m-Health Solutions (mHS) Uses BlackBerry Solution in Diagnostic System for Detecting Cardiac Arrhythmia

Case Study

m-Health Solutions (mHS) is a Canadian company in the emerging field of mHealth technology, a term describing the use of mobile devices for the collection and distribution of health data, remote delivery of care, and near real-time monitoring of patients. mHS provides doctors and patients with an efficient diagnosis system for detecting cardiac arrhythmia.

To speed up the process of diagnosing or ruling out cardiac arrhythmias, mHS developed the Mobile Cardiac Arrhythmia Diagnostic Service (m-CARDS), a solution for family doctors, internists and cardiologists. When a patient reports suspicious symptoms, the doctor can initiate the test right away, without sending the patient to the hospital or a specialist.

During the initial visit, the doctor attaches two electrodes to the patient and sends a requisition form to mHS. Within 24 hours, a kit arrives at the patient’s house or office containing an Event Loop Recorder (ELR) which records cardiac activity for up to two weeks, a BlackBerry smartphone and user instructions.

Once attached, the ELR starts to transmit data via Bluetooth® to the BlackBerry device. The BlackBerry smartphone sends the information to mHS’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server at its diagnostic center where it is interpreted by cardiac technologists. The company also uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to manage, control and push software updates out to the devices.

Results are monitored constantly and mHS’s cardiologists use a secure portal to make a diagnosis from virtually anywhere in the world. The cardiologists are able to electronically sign off on the results, which are then faxed to the referring doctor within approximately 24 hours of the patient completing the test for follow-up care.

“The investigation and diagnosis of cardiac issues was often a drawn out process,” said Sandy Schwenger, Co-owner and CEO of mHS. “After seeing your family doctor, it could take days or weeks to see a specialist and several more weeks for diagnosis. With m-CARDS, the patient is typically hooked up within 24 hours of seeing their family physician and the average time to diagnosis is eight days, meaning patients may be treated sooner.”

m-CARDS has been well-received among doctors and patients. Currently, 400 family physicians throughout Ontario have chosen to use m-CARDS to arrive at a diagnosis for nearly 2,500 patients.

“We believe this BlackBerry solution is just the beginning in helping to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of cardiac diseases and disorders,” said Schwenger. “We are already in the process of researching and developing a system to help monitor these patients after they’ve had a heart attack, during rehab or when they’re back at home.”

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