The Trauma Professional's Blog
LifeBot The Next Generation

Over a year ago, I wrote about a product called LifeBot. This technology provides a way to join the ED and prehospital teams as they work on patients. This involves special monitoring equipment in the ambulance (cameras and other telemedicine equipment), a special tablet computing system for data input and imaging, and equipment at the ED base station.

Using the original LifeBot system, medics could relay vitals and EKG data to the base station in real time, receive orders from emergency physicians, and send video feeds and photos from the ambulance.

LifeBot Technology has now released LifeBot 5, the next generation of this system. The unit is now portable, and can be taken out of the ambulance at the scene. It is ruggedized and weighs only 15 pounds, which isn’t bad for field medical equipment. The system now includes a web interface that can mesh with some electronic medical record systems. 

Expect to see more improvements (a defibrillator is slated as the next addition) as well as competing products soon.

What does it cost, you ask? A lot! As always, it’s tough to get exact numbers. The LifeBot 5 should be about $20,000. However, this does not include equipment cost for the base station, which is at least that much, if not more!

Bottom line: Expect further progress in blending the prehospital and emergency department environments. More products like this will become available, extending the senses of emergency physicians and providing additional assistance to prehospital providers.

Related post: The “super ambulance” of the future

Website: http://www.lifebot.us/dreams/

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Lifebot Technology


Ambulance 2.0: The “Super Ambulance” of the Future

Lifebot Technology has been working to upgrade the prehospital environment and connect it more closely with trauma professionals in the trauma center. They have done this by developing a so-called “super ambulance.” These ambulances are outfitted with new variations of tried and true technology. This includes a special Hewlett-Packard Slate tablet computer, multiple cameras inside the ambulance, cameras that are wearable by medics, and a state-of-the-art telemedicine system.

The Slate tablet allows for hand-held patient monitoring, GPS positioning, high resolution imaging via its built-in camera, patient medical record charting, and connection to the trauma center base station. At the base, the emergency physician or trauma surgeon can view monitoring information, control any camera in the ambulance to focus in on the action, and even draw on the Slate’s screen to show the crew areas of interest (telestration).

The system is pricey ($50,000 US), but is extremely valuable in rural areas where the nearest trauma center may be quite far away. In theory, a doctor could walk a medic through a procedure to resolve a problem that may kill their patient before they can get to the hospital. The system is already in use in select areas in Arizona, Florida and Texas.

Reference: Displayed at the HIMSS 2011 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) annual meeting, February 20-24, 2011 in Orlando, FL.

Disclosure: I have no financial interest in Lifebot Technology or Hewlett Packard