KARACHI: Indus Hospital has become the first medical institution in Pakistan to install an e-cardiology service, which will allow patients to be monitored and assisted electronically.
The new multi-media messaging service, installed by the hospital’s cardiology team and information management department, allows images and videos to be transferred from the hospital to the cardiologist’s cell phone in seconds. Electrocardiograms (ECGs), X-ray images and lab reports can now be messaged to consultants allowing them to make and implement decisions quickly. The cost of sending an image is less than six rupees.
“Recently, an ECG was sent to me on my cell phone in the wee hours of the night from the emergency room,” said Dr Imran Iftikhar, a consultant cardiologist at Indus Hospital. “We were able to save the patient, who would have had a heart attack, by detecting the clot in his arteries and removing it in time.” He added that most patients who died due to heart diseases in Pakistan could be saved if cardiac arrests were detected and treated in time.
“The hospital has been using electronic cardiac service for a few months now,” said Dr Sajid Dhakam, the director of cardiac services at Indus Hospital. “It makes communication faster and more effective and allows emergency care to be provided to heart patients.”
He explained that the hospital’s emergency response system, which can be activated from any computer in the hospital, informs emergency teams in the hospital as well the cardiologist’s on-call about the conditions of the patients.
The hospital, which is the first ‘paper-less healthcare facility’ in Pakistan, is also working on another unique technology that would allow the heart beats of patients to be recorded and updated on the hospital’s medical records.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2013.