SKYTRAC and UPMC Embark Upon Innovative Breakthrough in Medical Data Transfer

SKYTRAC recently announced the first-ever successful transfer of patient medical data through inflight cellular and satellite connectivity, paving the way for revolutionary new capabilities within the EMS industry.

Using the X Series monitor/defibrillator from ZOLL Medical Corporation, SKYTRAC now has the capability of transferring medical data through both cellular and satellite connections while en route to hospitals with SKYTRAC’s DAL-200 and ISAT- 200A avionics system. The test was conducted in consultation with STAT MedEvac, one of the largest operated and dispatched air-medical transport systems in the United States.

“We’ve just proven that AI and Big Data aren’t the only ways to revolutionize the healthcare industry,” mentioned Jan van der Heul, VP Sales at SKYTRAC Systems. “We’ve successfully implemented a highly sought-after feature in collaboration with UPMC, STAT MedEvac, and ZOLL, and are excited to introduce this technology to the market,” concluded Van der Heul.

Engineers at SKYTRAC were able to successfully configure a ZOLL X Series device to connect to an onboard WiFi network enabled by the DAL-200. When cellular connectivity was available, the DAL-200 acted as a WiFi/cellular bridge that allowed the ZOLL X Series to connect to its own servers. When cellular connectivity was unavailable, as is the case for most remote EMS missions, the DAL-200 enabled a redirection request to the ISAT-200A that encrypted and transmitted medical data through the Iridium satellite network to SKYTRAC, where it was then forwarded to ZOLL’s secure medical servers, This enables healthcare practitioners to access 12-lead reports before patients arrive in the emergency room.

The ability for clinicians to analyze data before a patient in critical condition reaches the hospital can be the difference between life and death.

Leonard Weiss, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Assistant Medical Director at STAT MedEvac sees immediate real-world implications deriving from this potential breakthrough.

“Transfer of care of critically ill patients is one of the riskiest phases of care, where up to 20% of patients in the U.S. may experience a harmful event. Current emergency and 911 communication systems are limited, utilizing archaic technology. Our work will be critical to developing future systems that allow early and robust coordination of care and alert waiting medical and surgical teams of inbound patients,” said Dr. Weiss.