ZOLL Medical has announced that ZOLL is the first major defibrillator manufacturer to publicly pledge the sharing of patient data to reduce preventable deaths. ZOLL encourages other industry leaders to join the medical device pledge to share patient data in an effort to stem the rising tide of unwarranted fatalities at US hospitals.
By breaking down the walls of data ownership and making medical devices interoperable for the sharing of patient data, device manufacturers can open the gateway for clinicians and nurses to access real-time information. For example, if emergency medical services are able to transmit 12-lead EKG data to a receiving hospital in advance of a cardiac arrest patient’s arrival, better patient care decisions can be made faster and with accuracy. This requires data-sharing between a ZOLL defibrillator and a non-ZOLL data system or vice versa.
According to Richard A Packer, CEO of ZOLL, making this pledge at the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit in earlier January 2013 in Laguna Beach, California, USA, strongly aligns with the company’s existing philosophy. “Our products have always been open-architecture. As the leader in pre-hospital data systems, making data available is a no brainer. It is all about connecting our devices to everyone’s devices to help improve patient care.”
“From a patient perspective, providing data from ZOLL devices and integrating the information to other devices is doing the best we can for the patient. It is that simple,” he said. “We view data sharing as an incremental tool that we can use to try to expand the openness we have always had and to work within the health care system in the interest of patient safety.”
ZOLL provides software development kits for all its products that allow programmers to access data collected by ZOLL products for a range of uses, but issues arise in integrating that data into other clinical systems. Barriers exist when ZOLL tries to integrate its data with systems from other companies in the emergency medical marketplace whose systems are not open-architecture and keep their data inaccessible.
“Hopefully, others will recognise the value to patient outcomes and take this pledge to make the physiological parameters displayed in their companies’ products available to anyone or any entity that wants to use it to improve patient care,” said Packer.