Physio-Control to launch ReadyLink 12-Lead ECG – New device will tie rural areas into regional systems of care

Physio-Control is on the verge of launching a new product that could be a game changer for the care of STEMI patients, especially in rural areas.

It's called ReadyLink 12-Lead ECG and it will allow BLS personnel to capture a 12-lead ECG and transmit the ECG for off-site interpretation using the LIFENET system.

This is important because right now in the United States there are a lot of rural areas that have been excluded from regional systems of care because they don't have the ability to capture 12-lead ECGs.

As a result STEMI patients are not receiving timely reperfusion, and as well all know by now, longer the time-to-reperfusion the higher the mortality! 

Last week I was given an exclusive interview with Cees Verkerk and Erik Denny from Physio-Control to talk about the device. I was also given permission to give the readers of the EMS 12-Lead blog a "sneak peak" prior to the product launch.

Here's what I found out:

  • The device looks almost like an AED but it doesn't shock. It's been designed for one thing and one thing only — to acquire a 12-lead ECG and transmit it to someone qualified to interrpet it.
  • It works with cellular technology to transmit the 12-lead ECG through the LIFENET system. If there's no cell signal it cannot transmit, so there will still be some areas where ReadyLink 12-Lead ECG will not work. 
  • On the plus side, it can roam through multiple networks and will continously look for a signal and transmit when it finds one. Or, if it loses a signal it will try again when it reacquires one.
  • There is no analog socket in the device so it cannot be used with a landline.
  • If necessary BLS personnel can call up computerized interpretive statements, so even in areas with no cell signal it would be possible to use this feature as part of the bypass or preactivation criteria.
  • The cost of the ReadyLink 12-Lead ECG has not yet been established but my sources at Physio-Control tell me the device will retail in the $7,000 – $8,000 range. More than an AED but far less than a Lifepak 15!

In the past couple of years I have been made aware of a handful of volunteer or BLS EMS agencies that have been equipped (through grants or charitable donations) with Lifepak 12s or Lifepak 15s so they can acquire and transmit 12-lead ECGs. 

While this is certainly commendable the cost can be prohibitive.

As regional systems of care for acute STEMI continue to be implemented across the country with help from organizations like the American Heart Association's Mission: Lifeline, it's easy to see how the ReadyLink 12-Lead ECG will nicely complement the LIFENET system by tying in the rural areas.

After all, they have heart attacks, too!

18 Comments

  • Christopher says:

    Does it print? I'd love to get one on my fire brigade if it does.

  • Sorry, Christopher! You'd have to transmit the ECG and have a .pdf emailed back to your smartphone.

  • Paul says:

    Isn't  this the same thing as a 12 lead event monitor that is smaller and sells at a cheaper price?

  • For example, Paul? This is not an event monitor. It's a triage tool.

  • Aaron says:

    What kind of lead placement electrodes are being used with this system?
     

  • Aaron – to my knowledge the system uses standard ECG electrodes. Unless I'm misunderstanding your question.

  • Christopher says:

    Perhaps as a follow-up to Aaron, can we acquire and annotate right sided and posterior views?

  • I doubt it Chris! I can't even do that on my LP12.

  • Christopher says:

    "Can you explain why his middle name is Righty?"

  • I've been waiting for this a long long time… Glad something is finally getting on the market to fill this niche.

  • Nicely done, Christopher! 

  • I couldn't agree more, Mic! For those who don't know Mic Gunderson he led the NAEMSP Dialog discussion "EMS Role in Reducing the Symptom to Reflow Interval for AMI". The link can be found in the left hand margin of the page.

  • Mark L says:

    Tom,
    Any word from Physio-Control if the EMTs can clearly mark the strip to indicate/annotate a right sided or posterior 12-lead with this device? I've always wondered why that isn't a standard feature on current monitor defibrillators. Might be considered too advanced for the BLS provider though. 

  • Mark L says:

    Whoops, just saw Chris's comment – that's cool you thought of the same thing :) 

  • ToddB says:

    Just to offer another viewpoint.  Has anyone considered the Philips MP2?  It is a compact, rugged, patient monitor designed for field use.  The primary end user has been CCT and airmed, but with the current change (in NC at least) to allow EMTs to acquire 12 leads and measure ETCO2 it will likely gain ground there as well.  It has several options incl:  3 and 12 lead ECG, NIBP, SPO2, ETCO2, invasive, and temp.  The basic loadout is not much different then competitive devices.  In the interest of full disclosure I work for a Philips master distributor in NC.  Addl info can be found at the link below if anyone is interested.
    http://incenter.medical.philips.com/doclib/enc/fetch/2000/4504/577242/577243/577247/582646/583147/PM_-_IntelliVue_MP2_-_Out_of_Hospital_brochure.pdf%3fnodeid%3d4439319%26vernum%3d5 

  • Croaker260 (Steve Cole) says:

     
    GREAT IDEA, but a bit short sighted. In my state (Idaho) there are HUGE areas of no cell phone coverage (does the term frontier and national forest ring a bell? :)  )  Most residences, even those on forest and BLM land,  have some variation of a land line though. Having the land line connection may be the only option in some cases, otherwise delay to the evaluation of this triage tool may be increased by 30 minutes (or more in winter). 
    I am mixed on the printer issue, and the cost seems a bit high when you can get a complete LP 11 for less than 2K, and a used LP 12 for less than 5K (and I bet the price will REALLY drop now that the 15 is out). I realize that "planned obsolescence" is a major marketing and economic tool in industry, but even with grants 8 K may be out of the reach of some of these smaller agencies in this environment. 
    FINALLY, I agree with the above comment from MARK L, even though it is completely unrelated. HEY PHYSIO, MAKE A RIGHT SIDED EKG OPTION IN THE 15!!! :)

  • Croaker260 (Steve Cole) says:

    As an addition, it should have all the same options for transmission that the LP 15 does…land line, data packet, cell, blue tooth, etc. and use the same equipment to reduce costs for agencies that have both. 

  • Karen Day says:

    While this looks to be an answer to improving pre hospital triage and activation I agree that it's still cost prohibitive for many rural EMS, espcially in my regio of sothern OH.  What about sending cellphone pictures of an acquired 12 lead?  Has anyone had experience with this method?

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