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FieldSaver Android App - A Case Study

Situation

Company Background

FieldSaver's mission is to enable Paramedics with the ability to successfully collect, document and share patient data at the right time with the right people within the continuum of care.

FieldSaverTM provides Emergency Medical Services (EMS) solutions to first responders and patient transport services to document legally required pre-hospital patient care record (PCR) data in the field. Paramedics use FieldSaver software with a mobile computing device connected to the Internet as the electronic interface to collect, share, report on and store pre-hospital patient care record (PCR) documentation. PCR documentation is a legal record that provides the basis for hospital emergency medical treatment, becomes part of the patient's medical record and hospital trauma record, provides a billing activation for insurance and/or Medicare, and provides quality assurance review for medical protocol adherence by fire departments, local EMS agencies, and public health. FieldSaver's customers span over 8 states and include civilian and military fire departments and ground transport providers. The company currently provides combined coverage for more than 5 million lives by more than 38 agencies.

Since 2002, the FieldSaver brand has provided Paramedics with a client application designed for mobile devices that is connected to its web service and database repository. FieldSaver has specialized in designing software systems for small screen and hand-held devices such as Smartphones, PDA and Tablet computing devices. These types of small mobile devices enable the collection of "at-scene" patient trauma data faster, easier and less expensively than similar electronic PCR systems that operate only on laptop computing devices. The FieldSaver software design is unique in that it is (1) designed to allow a very high degree of the customization of the User Interface, and (2) a native mobile application using Cloud services that communicates with an MS-SQL database via XML using HTTPS in an "always-on" state.

Management Team

The FieldSaver management team is comprised of seasoned professionals whom have all been involved with EMS system design, operations and technology.

Dr. Drew Hood MD

Founder/CEO

Dr. Hood, a Board certified ER physician founded FieldSaver with the intention that a practical and useful tool was needed by first responders who needed to gather and transmit patient trauma information to the emergency room. He has been an EMS Base physician and EMS Regional Advisory Board member for 20 years. With more than 15 years of experience in hospital-based information systems, he is a visionary, yet pragmatic, healthcare professional who understands the needs of trauma care personnel and organizations. His focus has been to combine the very latest in mobile hand-held computing technology with the friendliest and most efficient graphic user interfaces possible to allow first responders to quickly and accurately collect pre-hospital patient care data in the field.

Frank Zanka, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Zanka brings more than 20 years of experience in software business development, management and business operations. An innovator of software systems, patents and successful software technology products he is a recognized technology business expert. Within the last 6 years, Frank has focused on healthcare IT innovations for the delivery of healthcare, the commercialization of ePCR applications, including the design of regional EMS data system architecture design connecting hospitals, fire departments, central dispatch, ground/air transport and public health and safety agencies. He is a contributing author in the area of GIS and its applications within hospital and healthcare emergency management.

Ed Sicard, Certified HIPAA Professional

Chief Technology Officer

Ed is an expert and innovator in leading-edge EMS data collection technology and web-based software applications. His experience in software product innovation and development spans 17 years with more than 40 commercial products successfully launched. He has specialized in Healthcare IT innovations delivering critical and time-sensitive patient health information utilizing Cloud Services. He has developed web-based EMS products currently used in managing combined populations of more than 7 million lives, as well as, and other related health IT applications utilizing the secure sharing of patient personal health information.

About the FieldSaver Technology

The application platform is based upon a novel and unique design called "Template Manager." Template Manager provides a fast, simple and user-friendly interface to build highly customized screens for the collection of data on very small screens. The power of this system is that while screens are being defined, all business logic is automatically generated resulting in a user interface system based upon a 'cascading flow of business rules.' Within the realm of EMS documentation systems, these business rules are highly critical and important because medical protocols vary from region to region for emergency patient treatments by first responding EMS providers.

FieldSaver specializes in developing web-based first responder applications for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) documentation needs using hand-held mobile computing devices. Anticipating the development and acceptance of using Smartphones, the company successfully applied for and was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7711581 for the collection of patient data using a mobile hand-held computing device.

The Challenge

As the Chief Operating Officer managing corporate development, Mr. Frank Zanka develops grand strategy and manages business operations. Typically, his days are spent managing contracts, developing sales and distribution partners and general business management. Frank realized that FieldSaver was facing a dilemma as historically its application was based upon the Windows Mobile platform.  It became apparent with the delay of Windows 7, together with the shrinking number of Smartphone devices operating on the Windows mobile platform that FieldSaver needed to consider dropping its Windows development for the new version release and re-design for the Android OS.

"Our customers were facing fewer and fewer device options as cellular providers dropped Windows-based devices," Frank explained. "This decision was impactful from various perspectives in that it required us to consider the loss of capital investment in the labor design of the new version FieldSaver release using the Windows OS and the risk of development in the new Android operating system that we were unfamiliar with."

Frank knew that FieldSaver would benefit greatly by seeking out a development partner with extensive expertise in Android mobile application development. The company conducted an extensive vendor review and proposal process where each software development provider was evaluated. This evaluation covered expertise with mobile application development, the vendor's ability to execute, general organizational expertise, references with current project work, and cost.

"We selected Amadeus Consulting based upon higher scoring relative to competing vendor proposals using our evaluation criteria's," Frank said. "Further, our discussions with Amadeus Consulting uncovered a dimension in relationship management that we did not perceive with other vendors. Our feeling was that Amadeus Consulting projected a level of personal involvement somewhat akin to 'your problems are our problems' and that 'we will work with you just as if you we were alongside you.'"

 

Solution

How Clients use FieldSaver

The FieldSaver 3.0 EMS documentation system provides a lower total cost of ownership solution to both municipal fire departments and private ground ambulance providers seeking fast, reliable and field-tested proven ePCR software.

Since its inception, the company's focus has been on developing easy-to-use software applications for Paramedics to use on mobile hand-held devices utilizing web-based services. FieldSaver knows what Paramedics need in Smartphone or Tablet EMS solutions in order to be effective and productive.

Comparatively, FieldSaver provides high-value features, functionality with less complexity of implementation than other EMS documentation systems based on PC and laptop devices. FieldSaver conforms to the NEMSIS 2.x dataset

Android Platform Support

Tablet and Smartphone devices are lower cost than ruggedized laptops/tuff books and easily provided and managed by an existing cellular carrier. This provides platform support for next-generation mobile devices, and allows clients to choose a device that best meets their field data collection needs. In addition, the "Always-On" data connection allows the client to seamlessly print the PCR to the hospital's ER fax printer thru any national cellular carrier provider. Draft reports can be faxed prior to patient drop-off en route. Fleets of ambulances no longer need to return to base to sync reports.

FieldSaver is cloud-based software providing customers with a web-based interface to manage all local configuration requirements. FieldSaver is the only patented system whose interface was designed for customized EMS data collection on handheld mobile devices which operate over secure VPN cellular, WiFi and WAN connections. The FieldSaver system is a complete system implemented with Smartphone or Tablet PC devices which operate using both cellular and 802.11 transmission. The system promotes real time documentation based on the speed of the interface and the mobility of the Android mobile Operating System (OS).

Key Features of System Design

  • FieldSaver utilizes the "Cloud" so that Smartphone and Tablets devices are automatically updated whenever they connected to the Internet, allowing the system to be continuously upgraded and improved.
  • Paramedics can electronically fax or print from the device in the field all Patient documentation to the receiving hospital or trauma center while en-route. Paramedics are able to query the FieldSaver hosted server to download any and all prior patient and billing information to the handheld device to view, print or fax.

 

Results

In the initial rollout currently underway, FieldSaver's customers immediately reported high satisfaction with having an Android version of our application.  The application design, with new version improvements and features, is continually generating praise and satisfaction using the new Android version. Existing customers have had nearly eight years of experience and use of FieldSaver in the field.

FieldSaver anticipates that because it now offers an Android version of the application that its sales prospects will dramatically increase.  This is two-fold; customers now have many more device options to select based upon their unique needs now that the application is based on the Android OS, and secondly, the new version Android OS application provides superior serviceability and features to FieldSaver's target market. Sales, profits and customer goodwill projections are anticipated to increase as FieldSaver expands its marketing and sales efforts.

This development assignment was complicated in that the existing programming logic designed for the Windows Mobile OS needed to be translated for exact functionality in the Android OS system. "Reflecting back, one aspect of the benefits of having Amadeus Consulting provide the development expertise was the process of problem solving during Android programming," Zanka remarked. "Many times, we encountered programming challenges. We attribute successfully overcoming these challenges by Amadeus Consulting providing the specialized knowledge and programming expertise with the Android OS."

Mr. Zanka feels the Android version of the software provides his company with the opportunity to develop new products for new markets.  Specifically, FieldSaver is actively planning, partnering and conducting business operations that will seek to utilize the FieldSaver software design within the emerging market of mobile e-health applications. This new market is characterized by the need to collect, share, report and store patient health data using next-generation mobile devices such as Smartphones and Tablets. Utilizing the FieldSaver Android OS platform, Zanka anticipates that these requirements can be easily met with lower time-to-market, development costs and associated value-added features and capabilities. Notwithstanding the business drivers associated with mobile e-health applications, the utilization of the Android OS is well understood and accepted by all market participants.  Having an Android version of the technology poises FieldSaver to exploit these opportunities. "Without the expertise, guidance and programming provided by Amadeus Consulting, we would not be able to execute the expansion of our business," Mr. Zanka finished.


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