In a recent study, it is estimated that out of every six people, one would be above 65 years of age by 2050. This prediction accelerates the demand to design a more exceptional healthcare service that provides a rapid response. Nowadays, the healthcare and emergency response forces are working together to provide first aid services to sustain the patients before admitting to the hospital.
Although this concept will take some time in realization, the expected potential outcome of this idea is very advantageous for patients. A person can quickly call an ambulance using a smartphone application. The nearest available ambulance will reach the destination based on the GPS tracking location of the patient. Once the patient is shifted to the ambulance, the high-tech ambulance service, the paramedics, and the virtually present doctors will take care of the patient.
Real-Time Connectivity with Fast Internet Connection
The state-of-the-art ambulances are assisted virtually by paramedics using real-time technology to provide superfast services to the patient without skipping a minute. Stable online connectivity requires an upgraded internet connection that remain undisturbed despite the location.
High-resolution cameras are attached inside the ambulance to provide live-streamed footage to the clinician sitting remotely. The paramedics or clinician are provided with VR headsets for keen focusing on the patient. Based on the circumstances, the clinician will provide a suggestion about whether to visit the hospital or not.
Moreover, the mobile application that they’ll employ will have different modules: one each for the admin, hospital, ambulance, and patient, where each will perform different functions. Here’s how the application can be potentially designed:
- The admin module handles the entire system of assigning ambulances on their respective posts. It can also view all information in the hospital, ambulance, and patient modules.
- The hospital module can monitor the hospital facilities and relay information to the ambulance operator. This way, they can save time if any of their facilities are unavailable and bring the patient to another facility.
- The ambulance module takes care of the patient upon receiving them. They’ll pick up the patient from its location, use sensors to check the patient’s condition, and send them to the hospital using the app itself.
- Lastly, the patient module is where the patient can book emergency services. They can also import their basic health information to assist the healthcare facility, including their name, age, blood type, and if they have any existing health condition. In case patients don’t have a companion during the emergency, they can add family contact information as well.
Besides this, these ambulances are utilizing the RFID technology for automated updates regarding inventory and medical consumables. RFID equipment, i.e. heartbeat sensor, humidity sensor, pulse rate monitor, oxygen level sensors, blood pressure monitor and body temperature readings play a significant role in maintaining a safe environment inside the ambulance van. These reading are shared with the hospital staff in the meantime to update them about the patient’s condition. These reading should be error-free, so better encryption techniques are also required to keep the data unaltered.
Manufacturing and Designing Of Vehicle
When we talk about the internal environment of the ambulances, it should be least noisy as possible to avoid providing any hindrances during the examination and treatment. The patient’s comfort is the priority for the ambulance manufacturers, especially when it comes to the smooth working of mechanical parts and equipment. The structure and model of these smart ambulances are made of lightweight material that allows these vehicles to attain maximum possible speed with a jerk-free ride. The body is made strong enough to resist vehicle damage/collisions with efficient fleet maintenance.
Traffic Monitoring Through GPS
The GPS system of these smart ambulances is upgraded enough to fetch the real-time data from the traffic management authorities. This will provide the vehicle with the most suitable route to avoid traffic congestion. In the case of long-distance, the GPS system will show the shortest path to the nearby hospital. The GPS tracking will also update the ambulance driver about the route with least speed breakers and traffic signals.
User-Friendly Interface and E-Fueling
These smart ambulances have a user-friendly interface that provides easy accessibility to the paramedics. The computing system is rich in diagnostic functionality and supports upgraded modules to prevent any compatibility issues. If any technical problem arises in the van, the intelligent tool connected to the engine sends an automated notification to the concerned authority for the fast arrangement of a substitute.
The idea of automatic e-refueling of the ambulances is also under consideration. This involves refueling through the mobile application. There is also a fantastic suggestion to use electric ambulances to avoid fueling issues entirely.
Training of Paramedic Staff
Alongside the upgraded computational system equipped inside these mobile healthcare units, it is necessary to train the paramedic’s staff to have their hands on the latest apparatus. These paramedics are trained for rapid response to emergency situations. The handheld devices that is the first tool to use at an emergency scene are modernized enough for fast diagnosis. When it comes to paramedics of smart ambulances, their healthcare experience, well handling of communication equipment and diagnostic tools altogether count.
Smart Ambulance Compatibility with Hospital Equipment
Another critical step during the building of smart ambulance service is the up-gradation of systems at the hospital end. The deployed systems at the hospitals must also fulfil the modern-day requirements of the healthcare industry. The better integration between hospitals and ambulances, the more prosperous the healthcare service would be. As the world is moving towards expeditious and speedy services, the key objective of this technology is to provide vital quick services to stroke patients.
It is good to have an AED in the smart ambulance kit. Performing CPR and using an automated electronic defibrillator have been found to reduce death rates and increase survival rates by 70% if these procedures are employed in a timely manner.
Smart ambulances ideally possess every vital medical equipment, tool, or device to help respond to life-threatening emergencies. For instance, if one patient is suffering from a cardiac arrest, ambulance healthcare workers can potentially save the patient’s life using an automated electronic defibrillator (AED) and basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which they’re well-trained to perform.
There are some challenges awaited after the practical implementation of this idea of smart ambulances. The foremost is the security of the data, including patients’ profile, shared between the doctor and the patients. An awareness campaign should be launched to spread awareness among people regarding the sharing of pictures and videos during clinical examination in the ambulance. Obviously, people are reluctant to opt for any new technology due to different concerns and lack of belief.