Tools: Tech firm aims to deliver key data to OB's iPhones

August 22, 2008

Obstetricians may soon be able to check key patient data in real time on their iPhones.

Obstetricians may soon be able to check key patient data in real time on their iPhones.

San Antonio-based AirStrip Technologies announced plans to build software aimed at delivering “waveform” data to the popular multimedia devices, according to a statement from the company.  “Waveform” refers to the presentation of data in “squiggly lines” on a graph, similar to an electrocardiogram, says Chief Medical Officer and company co-founder Cameron Powell, MD.

The AirStrip OB application allows obstetricians to view data concerning fetal heart and maternal contraction patterns using only a typical cell phone connection, Powell says.

Powell calls the fetal heart tracing – a graph of a baby’s heart activity - the most important piece of data for an obstetrician.

The OB application is currently available for use on some “smart phones” and personal digital assistants. AirStrip says it expects in the fourth quarter to release a version of the software that works on iPhones.

The biggest benefits of the OB software are that it improves patient safety, reduces risk and improves communication among caregivers, Powell says.

Powell declined to say how much AirStrip will charge for the iPhone software. The application is built under the “software as a service” model, in which users access the software over the Internet rather than from their own servers.

The application incorporates iPhone controls, such as the ability for users to “flick” and “pinch-zoom” charts and graphs. The AirStrip software also works with the iPhone’s notification service, meaning doctors can elect to receive a vibration or ring tone notification when a “clinical parameter” has been met, such as when a patient’s blood pressure or heart rate hits a predetermined level, the company says.

Powell, who was a practicing obstetrician for five years but now fully devotes his time to AirStrip, founded the company in 2004 with Trey Moore, the company’s chief technology officer.. The company plans to release a version of its technology that will be aimed at cardiologists, but Powell declined to say when the new application would hit the market.