Physio-Control Corporation and Micromedical Industries Ltd. have signed an exclusive agreement for the distribution of the latter company's Biolog 3000 electrocardiograph monitor to the emergency medical services (EMS) industry all over the world by Physio-Control Corporation. This Redmond based manufacturer of portable defibrillation devices will combine the Biolog 3000 monitor with its own LIFEPAK 500 automated external defibrillator (AED) to accurately assess the condition of patients suffering from acute cardiac problems. Last April, both companies already signed a first agreement for exclusive distribution of the Biolog 3000 monitor to the commercial aviation industry.
The Biolog 3000 monitor has the appearance of a deck of cards and is able to offer an initial look at a patient's electrocardiogram (ECG) by means of four dry electrodes, attached to the back of the device. Single-, 6- or 12-lead ECGs are possible through the choice of optional cables. Used in combination with the LIFEPAK 500, the tool constitutes a relatively cheap alternative for the tiered response systems which are commonly applied in remote and isolated regions. This kind of medical kit is very suitable for small rural communities in the USA or for EMS stations in developing countries, as stated by David L. Nordin, Physio-Control's vice president of worldwide marketing.
The life-saving potential of the Biolog 3000 cannot be underestimated since the device is able to record a 12-lead ECG of excellent diagnostic quality. Moreover, the tool can even begin to rule in a heart attack in progress. The patient data is transmitted by the monitor by means of conventional or wireless telephone from the emergency site to the expert in the hospital. Thanks to the April agreement, Physio-Control currently supplies the successful combination of Biolog 3000 monitors with LIFEPAK 500 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to VARIG S.A., the biggest airline in Latin America. VARIG passengers with cardiac emergency thus have a fair chance to survive because of the highly sophisticated inflight medical kit on board.
Ventricular fibrillation (VF) constitutes the major cause of sudden cardiac arrest. The patient's heart starts to quiver irregularly which prevents it from pumping blood throughout the body. People with little medical expertise can treat VF on the spot by using the AED to give the heart a powerful electrical shock to interrupt the quivering. As a result, the heartbeat regains control in a normal rhythm. Without the AED intervention, the patient would have died within minutes. On the contrary, the symptoms of a heart attack are different. In this case, a blockage of the blood vessel which feeds the heart, occurs and has to be relieved within the first hour to offer a great chance for survival and proper recovery. Here, the Biolog 3000 is able to provide the indispensable 12-lead ECG to determine the nature of the symptoms.
The collaboration between the Australian medical technology company Micromedical and the Physio-Control Corporation therefore opens up ways to improve the quality of care for patients, who experience potential cardiac emergencies. Together, these manufacturers offer a qualitative but low-cost cardiac telemedicine system, which can be used by persons without any extensive medical training in geographically dispersed communities or in aircrafts.