By Lea Sparkman
Call9, a telemedicine service that acts as an alternative to calling 911, recently brought its product out of its beta test phase and into the market. The startup team members—two of them Stanford alumni—created a service for businesses such as hotels and nursing homes, providing immediate medical attention at the click of a button.
Call9 ‘s product consists of two components: an emergency kit, complete with an ultrasound and EKG machine, and a mobile app that can directly contact an on-call medical professional. Participating businesses receive one of Call9’s kits and can stream all data collected with its devices to the doctor working remotely.
The system recently ran its first real-life trial, in which a nursing home resident had suddenly fallen ill. Using the app, the on-call doctor was able to obtain the patient’s medical records as well as monitor his vital signs. The doctor guided a nurse at the home through the steps of the EKG; when the test revealed the patient was having a heart attack, the doctor immediately called an ambulance to the scene. Without this timely diagnosis and action, the patient may have lost his life.
In addition to the obvious perks of direct medical care, the app also provides a more flexible work schedule for emergency doctors. Currently, these medics work 12-hour shifts, giving them little flexibility in their schedule. Call9 offers an alternative financial model, allowing doctors to add extra hours according to their needs.
Perhaps, the holographic doctors from Star Trek are a not-so-distant reality; Call9 certainly pushes medical technology further into this realm.