Study Finds Smartphone Messaging Allows For Streamlined Transfer of MI Patients

Smartphone communication between hospitals may significantly reduce the time it takes for myocardial infarction patients to receive treatment after a hospital transfer, according to a research letter published Sept. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Jin Joo Park, MD, and colleagues examined 114 patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) transferred from 16 hospitals that were unable to perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).  Five of the hospitals, which treated 50 of the patients, participated in smartphone app-based social network system (SNS) to coordinate the hospital transfer while the others communicated with a non-smartphone based STEMI hotline.

The researchers found patients needing a hospital transfer received PCI on average 27 minutes faster when their medical teams used SNS to coordinate the hospital transfer compared to teams communicating with the STEMI hotline. There was no difference in door-to-device time at the PCI hospital in patients arriving on weekdays. However, during off-hours, that time was 15 minutes less in the patients using SNS. Results also showed that the time spent in transit between the two hospitals was similar in both groups. The time spent at the first hospital before being transferred was numerically shorter in the SNS-activated group, but this difference was not statistically significant.

Moving forward, Park and his team are currently planning a randomized clinical trial to provide a more rigorous evaluation of the potential impact of SNS use on these outcomes.

“SNS activation is a simple and cost-effective method suitable for broad utilization and implementation among health care providers to reduce the total ischemic time for transferred STEMI patients,” said Park. “In my opinion, SNS activation can potentially save lives without using new resources in the health care system.”

Clinical Topics: Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention

Keywords: Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Social Support

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