MDA Mobile app to shorten stroke treatment time and minimise stroke damage
Israel’s Magen David Adom has unveiled a new lifesaving app to 25 neurologists and emergency medicine doctors from various hospitals in Israel.
In a conference at MDA’s National Command and Control Center in Kiryat Ono, MDA unveiled the new model for treatment of stroke cases enabled by a new mobile application feature.
The model was developed by the in-house Magen David Adom development team and in collaborating with Dr. Roni Eichel of Shaare Zedek Medical Center and has been successfully tested in a pilot over the past few months. The new model is planned to be introduced in all Israeli hospitals.
According to Dr. Eichel, a stroke may erupt suddenly, and from the moment it does a “countdown” begins – every moment that passes counts. Every minute that goes by without the patient receiving medical treatment, he or she may lose 2,000,000 brain cells, causing irreparable damage and severe disabilities. Therefore, there is a tremendous importance to proper and rapid evacuation, diagnosis and treatment.
The new app, available to all staff members of MDA, allows for a new, faster model for treatment of patients suffering a stroke. Once the MDA team has reached and examined the patient, they will instantly transfer the data required for admission to the trauma department. Such data includes: demographics (in order to already have an admission file), blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, neurological symptoms and an estimated time of arrival. Simultaneously, the teams will contact the hospital neurologist in order to provide more details. Once the information is sent, a special code is activated at the hospital which opens a patient file and books a CT scan before the patient even reaches the hospital. The relevant medical staff will also arrive and await the patient at the trauma centre. This is a new approach, where the hospital awaits the patient and not the other way around.
During the conference, Prof. Nathan Bernstein, head of the neurologists association of Israel greeted the participants. In addition, Dr. Roni Aichel elaborated on the process that occurs in the hospital. According to Dr. Aichel and based on data taken from the pilot, patients who arrived using the feature were in CT within approximately 24 minutes, as opposed to patients who didn’t arrive using the app feature, who were taken to the CT scan after 54 minutes. In summation, the app saved approximately 30 minutes! The participants were able to try the app and give their opinion on it. They also took a tour of the MDA command and control centre and witnessed the state of the art technologies MDA uses in order to improve their work of saving lives.
Dr. Roni Aichel, Head of the Stoke Unit at Shaare Zedek Medical Centre said: “A year ago MDA invited us to try to work together on this issue and it immediately became a “love story”. Prior to the meeting I began thinking of developing an app that will assist in treating stroke patients, and during the visit MDA introduces us to their technological platform – this is how the app was created. It essentially allows the MDA teams to send information directly to hospitals, and every hospital can develop its own system of using this data and shortening treatment times. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating stroke patients and this feature allows us to avoid the questioning process at the hospital. It also gives us enough information necessary to determine which department or what kind of treatment the patient needs and have it prepared in advance.”
Chaim Karadi, Head of MDA Medical Dispatch Centre added: “The MDA teams app featured at the conference is yet another way the organisation provides the teams with in order to shorten response times and provide better treatment to patients. When a senior EMT or paramedic diagnose a patient with a stroke, they know they need to report the symptoms precisely to the neurologist at the hospital. This way the hospital is able to better prepare for the arrival of the patient, while monitoring his location since the moment of the call. This makes for a quicker, more efficient treatment.”
MDA Chief Information Officer, Ido Rosenblat said: “Magen David Adom develops a variety of apps in order to shorten response times in every stage of treatment, which of course includes cases where every minute counts. This approach can also be seen in the “My MDA” App, where MDA teams can be called very quickly and in the MDA team’s app, which in cases such as heart attacks and strokes enables transfer of a patient’s information directly to the relevant units in the hospitals, shortening the waiting time in the OR and allows for a direct register at the relevant unit.”
MDA’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Raffi Strugo added: “Our goal at MDA is to keep improving. Using this app, we seek to improve the process between the first report to the 101 dispatch centre and the treatment provided to the patient. These past few years we have been working hard to incorporate technology to our work, understanding that it is key in the emergency medicine field. One of our most important app features is the “Stroke”. A stroke is one of the medical emergencies that require immediate treatment the sooner you treat the patient the better: more patients can survive the incident, suffer less from disabilities and are able to resume function sooner. The effect on their life expectancy and quality of life is significant and directly derived from the time component.”
MDA Director General, Eli Bin said: “MDA is glad to collaborate with Shaare Zedek Medical Center in order to lead an improvement in medical treatment for stroke patients. MDA is at the forefront of emergency medicine and pre-hospital technology and is considered a global leader in the field. Investing in human assets, trainings, and innovative technologies is the engine behind MDA’s ability to maintain its high standard lifesaving capabilities. I hope that this feature will soon be used by all hospitals in the country and will help to make patient treatment more efficient.”