Mobile technology has become such an important part of health information technology that HIMSS launched its mHIMSS initiative just a few months before the annual conference, held in late February in Las Vegas. The effort is intended to provide educational resources and guidance to health IT professionals trying to meet demands of physicians they support. Within three months, it had more than 3,600 members.
Cardiologist Eric J. Topol, MD, was on a cross-country flight when an attendant made an announcement asking if there was a doctor on board.
Dr. Topol, chief academic officer for Scripps Health, responded and was brought to a man who was in obvious trouble. Only a year or two ago, Dr. Topol would have had to make an educated guess and hope he could take care of the patient until the plane landed.
This time, though, he pulled out his iPhone, and with an app that produces an electrocardiogram, he determined that the patient was having a heart attack. The plane made an emergency landing while paramedics waited on the ground to take the patient directly to surgery to open the blocked arteries causing the attack.