Another emergency medical service is deploying wireless technology to support workflow automation, improve pre-hospital care, and better communicate patient data to waiting hospital Emergency Departments. From Information Week (press release):
In an announcement Tuesday, the RAA said the In Motion technology,
which can access different wireless networks while ambulances race to
their destinations, had not only improved pre-hospital patient care by
improving dispatch times, but had also brought about a 50 percent
reduction in mobile data communications costs.
A spokeswoman for In Motion said the firm's "little black box"
has been fitted with communications cards that enable ambulances to
access a variety of wireless networks from satellite links and WiFi hot spots to cell phone and UMTS networks. The system can even connect with some private IP networks operated by companies.
In setting up the system, the RAA was confronted with a series of
challenges -- the exact location of ambulances was needed for rapid
dispatching, drivers were expending valuable seconds studying paper
maps, and response time had to be shortened to seconds. The RAA also
asked for a system that would supply up-to-date patent records and the
records must be HIPAA-compliant and encrypted.
In Motion's onBoard Mobile Gateway
Manager pinpoints vehicle location while it monitors the status of
different wireless networks. The technology has enabled new features to
be introduced including Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Automatic
Vehicle Location (AVL).
As I've mentioned before (here, here and here), what's described above takes a lot more than just a "little black box" - there are information sytsems at the RAA and local hospitals that must be supported. And multi-site and multi-enterprise implications extend to medical device connectivity as well. Currently adoption in this area is progressing slowly.