News » New Initiative Launched to Improve Cardiac Care in the Nation’s Capital

New Initiative Launched to Improve Cardiac Care in the Nation’s Capital

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2012) – Today, the George Washington University Heart and Vascular Institute and The Wireless Foundation, in partnership with the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services,  announced their innovative public health initiative, which will improve cardiac care in the nation’s capital. Through this initiative, D.C.-area ambulances have been equipped with technology that enables rapid, wireless transmissions of EKGs to both the on-call physician’s wireless device and tertiary care hospitals, including The George Washington University Hospital, Howard University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. This initiative will streamline patient care for those who have suspected acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and reduce time from the time of reporting chest pains to treatment.

Every year, nearly 300,000 people are stricken with sudden cardiac arrest, with a survival rate of less than ten percent, according to American Heart Association. Additionally, almost every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction.  

“Time is of the essence when patients experience a heart attack,” said Jonathan Reiner, MD, Professor of Medicine, George Washington University and Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, GW Hospital. “This technology will allow the medical team to make decisions early, in many cases before the patient even arrives at the hospital, and should significantly improve the outcomes of patients experiencing a heart attack in the District of Columbia.”  

 “Wireless technology plays an important role in improving the communications between a doctor and a patient, which is critical after a medical emergency such as a heart attack. That’s why we are pleased to provide a grant to this innovative initiative that will help doctors get as much information as quickly as possible so they can make the best decision for their patients,” said Steve Largent, President of The Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association®.   

For B-Roll of the technology in action:

For Commentary from Dr. Jonathan Reiner, GW:

For B-Roll of Steve Largent, President & CEO, CTIA—The Wireless Association®:


About the GW Heart & Vascular Institute

The GW Heart & Vascular Institute has a mission to promote cardiac and vascular research, education, and community service with the goal of accelerating the pace of scientific discovery, reducing mortality and improving the quality of life of Americans with heart and vascular disease.

About The Wireless Foundation:

The Wireless Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by the membership of CTIA-The Wireless Association® in 1991.  The Foundation brings organizations, people, and technology together so wireless innovations will continue to enhance lives in communities across the United States. 

About the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services:

The District of Columbia’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department is a full spectrum, all-hazards agency comprised of over 2,200 members that primarily operate from 33 neighborhood firehouses that serve the residents and visitors in Washington, D.C.  With an operating budget of almost $200 million, the Department responds to approximately 160,000 calls for service annually.