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AHA: iPhone App Transmits Heart Images Quickly

FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- An iPhone app can transmit diagnostic electrocardiogram images accurately, quickly, and more reliably than e-mail, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from May 15 to 17 in Baltimore.

David R. Burt, M.D., from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, and colleagues designed an iPhone app that takes a photo of the pre-hospital electrocardiogram and centers and reduces its size, and compared its transmission over three cell phone networks with standard photo-to-email transmission in an urban area.

The researchers found that the app was significantly faster, with less standard deviation, and the improvement in image transmission became more marked with increasing photo size. The app transmitted images in four to six seconds compared with 38 to 114 seconds for an actual-size photo and 17 to 48 seconds for a large-size e-mail image. The app had a less than 0.5 percent failure rate within 120 seconds over 1,500 separate transmission attempts. In contrast, the failure rate for full-size photos was 3, 71.2, and 15.5 percent on the three networks.

"Simple cellular technology can save lives," Burt said in a statement. "This system may make pre-hospital electrocardiogram transmission a more inexpensive and reliable option. That can translate to faster treatment and saved lives."

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