The Metro Government of Louisville-Jefferson County, Ky., recently purchased an electronic data system that will enable emergency medical responders to wirelessly record patient information at the scene of an emergency and transmit the data to hospitals, Business First of Louisville reports. Described as a “Blackberry for emergency medical care,” the $2.1 million system is expected to improve information flow by replacing paper-based charts, which are sometimes misplaced or illegible. In addition, the technology will analyze incoming patient data and send alerts when patterns of similar symptoms develop among patients, a trend that could indicate severe flu or other public health concerns. As the system rolls out, first responders will record information such as patients' vital signs, injuries and medications on handheld computers and then print the charts upon hospital arrival. Eventually, however, the system will allow responders to wirelessly transmit the data directly to hospital emergency departments. According to Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, the system likely will significantly increase insurance reimbursements for emergency medical services. Meanwhile, Business First reports that the Louisville system is one of the three largest in the world, with comparable electronic patient care recording systems deployed in San Francisco and Toronto (Business First of Louisville, 4/1/08).