Abstract 16463: Innovative iPhone App Demonstrates Reliable Transmission of Pre-Hospital ECG Images Utilizing Standard Cell Phone Networks
Introduction: Transmission of pre-hospital ECG images to STEMI treatment centers facilitates activation of the STEMI treatment process prior to patient arrival. Proprietary ECG transmission systems are effective but expensive. Previously, we reported efforts to utilize a low-cost iPhone app to transmit ECG images via standard cell phone networks. Preliminary results indicated that the iPhone app was superior to transmission of images via standard “photograph & email” approaches. Evaluation of the app on multiple cell phone networks and comparison to a proprietary transmission system is reported here.
Hypothesis: A low-cost iPhone app that optimizes pre-hospital ECG image transmission via standard cell phone networks could facilitate pre-hospital ECG transmission capability if it is reliable and reasonably equivalent to proprietary systems. It would also be important to correlate probability of successful transmission to cell network signal strength at the time of use.
Testing: The iPhone app was tested on three national networks and also compared to a proprietary ECG transmission system. Over 75 waypoints were utilized with multiple test cycles at each waypoint, totaling over 3000 transmissions. Cell signal strength (for each phone network) was recorded with each test. Success was defined as transmission within 120 seconds. When possible, the app was tested nearly simultaneously on all four systems to minimize environmental variation.
Results: As shown in Figure 1, the app compared favorably to the proprietary system when signal strength was 3 bars or greater; at this signal level, percent success for 2 of the 3 networks was greater than 95%, nearly identical to the proprietary system. At lower signal strength (two bars or less) performance was more variable for the app.
Conclusion: The iPhone app appears to be a reasonable alternative to proprietary systems, particularly in resource-limited areas or where signal strength is consistently 3 or more bars.
- © 2013 by American Heart Association, Inc.