Using Technology to Aid Emergency Services
Emergency rooms and 911 call centers have long struggled with problems such as understaffing and numerous unpredictable rush hours of incoming clientele, however, we are finally at an age where technology can now assist communities at large as well as lessen the heavy volumes of traffic when it comes to healthcare and natural disasters.
Telehealth is an example of a product that makes many peoples’ lives easier, especially those who live in more rural areas. By accessing the mobile app or through the website, users can track their health, make appointments, and even have virtual consultations in order to get specific medical questions answered. This saves them from having to schedule appointments and potentially miss work hours, as well as save them the stress involved in obtaining transportation for doctor’s visits.
Having a mobile health unit accessible to evaluate potential patients can save everyone valuable time and money by circumventing unnecessary trips to the ER. The visits are carried out by professionals who are trained to perform procedures that are above a typical EMS visit. The patient is given a whole-body check and overall assessment, instead of trying to treat an isolated injury. If the condition can be diagnosed and treated in the comfort of one’s own home, the hospital avoids overcrowding and the patient avoids the cost of an emergency room visit, as well as the stress of taking a trip to the ER.
Technology is also desperately needed in times of disaster, helping with both early detection and the locating of loved ones after the fact. Early detection services for some natural disasters, such as LoRa technology created by Semtech semiconductors, combines wireless technology with low-grade network sensors that span a wide area. They use these in conjunction with advanced algorithms to help scientists predict catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanoes. For helping people locate loved ones, there are many alternatives that are being developed to compete with standard social media platforms. The emergency management consulting firm Nusura is just one of many firms offering a variety of tools from their suite of products. They specialize in crisis & emergency preparedness, strategic planning, defense information strategy, and strategic communications.
It isn’t just the professionals that busy innovating. There are also student-level competitions being held to try and solve real-life problems using technology. STEM is a science-based approach to teaching that focuses on science, engineering, technology, and math. Many of its students are volunteering to look at real-world problems from a new perspective in order to help. Purdue University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service program (EPICS) tasked over 500 undergraduate students with the engineering-based job of designing, building and ultimately solving actual problems in order to aid their local communities.