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Top products at EMS Today 2012

Several new products were introduced here for 1st time anywhere and have enormous potential

EMS Today 2012 in Baltimore this weekend was an astounding event. More than two dozen brand new products and companies were exhibiting. This was the 30th year of EMS Today, and maybe the best.  In 1982, the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) held their inaugural conference in Kansas City. Only 215 people attended and I was one of them. This year is made more memorable by it being the last for now in Baltimore. Next year it will be held in Washington, D.C.

Several new products were introduced here for the first time anywhere and have enormous potential. For the first time I am uncomfortable ranking them. This year there were just too many very cool new EMS products. We have a real four-way tie for top new product at EMS Today this year.

Ferno introduced their new EZ Glide with PowerMaxx. Most EMS providers are familiar with stair chairs that have tank-like treads for descending stairs. The Ferno PowerMaxx takes it to the next level with a battery-powered electric motor that drives the treads. It can easily power a patient up or down stairs.

The motor and direct drive transmission even acts like a break when going down stairs for a carefully controlled decent. When you pause, an electronic break holds the chair in place. The motor has enough power to handle up to a 500 pound patient.

I watched while Kris Bordnick and Peter McHugh from Ferno demonstrated it briefly outside the exhibit area. They were on the long two flights of stairs up to the lobby with a pretty big guy strapped in. They motored right up the steep incline with ease. The obvious implications are exciting.

The Ferno PowerMaxx solves several of the toughest patient handling challenges. It also provides a new level of both patient and rescuer safety while doing it. Best of all, PowerTraxx can be retrofit to existing Ferno EZ Glide Stair Chairs.

Zoll Medical introduced their long-awaited new multiparameter monitor and defibrillator, the Propaq MD. The Propaq MD has been in development for years and is a truly remarkable piece of equipment. It combines the proven features of Propaq monitors with the capabilities of ZOLL defibrillation and non-invasive pacing technologies.

While I am obligated to list some of the features, the fast answer to the question “Can it do..?" followed by almost anything is probably "yes." The incredibly compact form factor belies the comprehensive range of functions.

It can defibrillate, cardiovert, or pace. It offers 12-lead ECG, and has maybe the best non-invasive blood pressure in the world. It also has Pulse Oximetry, Capnograhy, and even CO monitoring built in. It can also monitor multiple invasive pressures and temparatures at the same time.

The Zoll Propaq MD is amazingly small and lightweight. It replaces all of your monitoring devices, while also replacing a full-featured defibrillator at the same time. It does all this weighing only 10 pounds. That will make it a sure fire winner for every aeromedical and critical care transport program.

Laerdal Medical launched the exciting new SimPad. The SimPad has an instantly familiar feel and comfortable user interface. It's about the same size as my wife's Kindle Fire, with a beautiful 5.7” color touch screen and elegantly rounded corners

SimPad is compatible with the VitalSim platform, so it can be used by training programs with a variety of existing Laerdal equipment. It will empower EMS educators both creatively and expressively. It helps students learn core EMS skills in a fun and exciting new way.

For instructors it offers a wealth of potential applications on a completely mobile device. SimPad provides one touch access to a comprehensive library of physiological data including vital signs, ECG recordings and arrhythmias, even organ and patient sounds.

Laerdal had a huge enlarged version at their booth. It was maybe four feet tall but mirrored all the functions of SimPad. I watched while Mike Carey from Laerdal demonstrated the comprehensive range of potential simulations to an instructor. It was the coolest marketing display I have ever seen.

Karl Storz had a dynamic interactive simulation center right inside their booth. They held an Intubation Challenge that simulated critical assessment and airway competencies. Everything was displayed on a giant big screen in high definition with the clock running.

A huge crowd of paramedic students gathered to take the challenge. It was great fun watching their fierce competition. Storz had several of their video laryngoscopy devices on display, including an exciting new version for EMS.

The C-MAC PM uses the famed Storz handles and blades with a new 2.4” compact color monitor mounted right on the grip. As soon as you touch it you know you're holding a quality built instrument. It provides an exceptional image of the posterior pharynx and glottis, even in bright sunlight.

A nice feature of the system is the wide variety of available blades. They even have a special blade for the difficult airway. For EMS providers this means that one laryngoscope system can meet regulatory requirements. The entire unit is rated immersable and is clearly built for the rigors of EMS.

Karl Storz instruments have been used by physicians for years to look inside the human body. They manufacture some of the finest endoscopes, high definition cameras, and display monitors in the world. Now we finally have a compact version of the same technology, that can fit inside a standard EMS intubation kit.

These are only a few of the important new technoligies we saw in Baltimore this year. Stay tuned for extended coverage on more of the top new products at EMS Today.

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