Lifenet transmits defibrillator information from paramedics to
hospital via broadband
5 August 2008
Physio-Control, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medtronic, has
introduced the Lifenet STEMI Management Solution, a combination of web,
broadband and medical technology, that reduces time to treatment for
heart attack patients.
The system is potentially lifesaving for patients experiencing STEMI
(ST-elevation myocardial infarction), a dangerous form of heart attack
that impedes or blocks blood flow to the heart. The Journal of Emergency
Medical Services (JEMS) recently named Lifenet technology as one of its
Hot Products for 2008.
The Lifenet STEMI Management Solution allows paramedics to use
broadband technology to transmit diagnostic-quality cardiac information
(12-lead ECGs) from the Lifepak 12 defibrillator/monitor in the field to
a web-based system managed by Physio-Control.
The system then reliably and securely distributes the information via
the Internet to hospital care teams on internet-connected devices,
including computers in the hospital emergency department and cardiac
catheterization (cath) lab as well as a cardiologist’s handheld device.
The system enables care providers to make treatment decisions while
the patient is still in transport. The medical team can transport
patients to a facility capable of providing the appropriate treatment,
where the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab is prepared in advance,
avoiding delays in treatment.
Because STEMI affects one or more of the arteries that carry blood to
the heart, it poses a serious threat to the heart muscle. Treatment
includes balloon angioplasty, often with stent placement, in the
hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, hence the term 'door to balloon'
Studies show that time from the onset of STEMI to treatment is
critical for improving survival and outcomes for these patients. Having
this new system enables patient care teams to more consistently meet the
guideline for treatment in 90 minutes or less, as recommended by the
American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
“The addition of the Lifenet technology to our arsenal has been of
great benefit to our patients,” said David Chisholm, battalion chief,
Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, Maryland, USA.
“It has proven very effective in transmitting high quality 12-lead ECG
recordings to our receiving facility. This allows the receiving
physician to feel confident in the field provider’s interpretation of
the 12-lead and activate the cath lab team. It is great to see the cath
lab team waiting for the patient when they roll through the emergency
Brian Webster, president of Physio-Control, said, “Physio-Control has
long been a pioneer in helping medical teams care for patients with
life-threatening cardio-respiratory events. As the first web-based
system for STEMI management, the Lifenet system delivers lifesaving
information when and where it is needed. This helps communities set up
STEMI-alert systems that can have a dramatic effect on reducing door to
balloon times for patients by helping care providers make timely
treatment decisions. This can save lives and improve outcomes for STEMI
Although Physio-Control is currently under a consent decree with the
FDA, under certain exceptions, the company is permitted to manufacture
and ship a limited selection of product to meet the most critical needs
of emergency response customers. The Lifenet STEMI Management Solution
is included in the exceptions, enabling all government and a limited
number of private customers to upgrade their systems in order to better
meet the current standard of care for STEMI patients.