Airlift Northwest/UW Medicine: The 2020 Leaders in Health Care Gold Award Winner for Achievement in Digital Health

The Silver Award goes to health care tech firm Twistle
AIRBORNE LIFELINE: Chris Martin is executive director of Airlift Northwest, an operator of a fleet of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft that provides airborne intensive-care servies to 3,800 patients annually across four states.

This article appears in print in the March 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Leaders in Healthcare Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Gold Award
Airlift Northwest/UW Medicine, Seattle

Every minute is crucial for patients with critical injuries and illnesses. Airlift Northwest’s new mobile and desktop app, Flight Call, allows first responders and hospital emergency staff to quickly and easily send a helicopter to the scene of an accident or arrange to transport patients.

The innovative app has a built-in mapping feature that automatically calculates GPS coordinates. It also includes a searchable map of all existing landing zones throughout Washington state — an especially valuable feature in rural areas without many landmarks. It features educational materials, including a guide on how to create a helicopter landing zone, a hospital directory and a calendar of upcoming training events.

Airlift’s helicopters and planes are essentially flying intensive care units with equipment found in top hospitals. From state-of-the-art glide-scopes to night-vision goggles, Airlift uses the latest technology to continually improve the quality of emergency medical transport for first responders in the field, hospital emergency staff and patients who need life-saving care.

Airlift was founded in 1982 by Dr. Michael Copass, then medical director of emergency services at Harborview Medical Center and Medic One, after a tragic house fire claimed the lives of three children in Sitka, Alaska. Airlift now serves four states: Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Its helicopters and airplanes fly from eight strategically located bases and transport 3,800 patients each year to regional hospitals and health care facilities.

Silver Award
Twistle, Seattle

Twistle helps organizations deliver personalized care to patients in their homes by automating everything from routine communication to information gathering and education activities, saving time for care teams while improving outcomes. Founded in 2011 by Kulmeet Singh — who still serves as chief executive officer — Twistle recently raised $16 million in a series A funding round. “Our passion is to drive change in the medical field using technology in a way that enables patients to become partners in their own care,” Singh says. During a six-month pilot program with Providence St. Joseph Health, Twistle found that patients had fewer complications, went home sooner and had a significantly lower cancellation rate for appointments. 

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