U. Arizona Medical Center initiates remote ambulance monitoring


 
 

Brian White | | Thursday, September 6, 2007


TUCSON, Ariz. The University of Arizona Medical Center and the Tucson Fire Department are participating in a program that wirelessly transmits the images, sounds and vital statistics of a patient in an ambulance to the emergency room of a hospital.

The technology allows a doctor to see, in real time, scenes of a patient or accident and enables medical professionals to coordinate treatment, said Rifat Latifi, interim medical director of UMC's Level 1 trauma center and director of telemedicine services at the University.

The program is the first of its kind to be implemented in the world, Latifi said.

"It's almost like being there," he said. "You see the patient, you see the paramedic, the procedures and the vital signs."

Immediate information is key to emergency treatment, Latifi said. Instead of short radio spurts, the new video link will allow a continuous stream of data, he added.

Seventeen paramedic units currently have the video link equipment installed, including a high-powered camera that can produce crystal clear images, according to www.emstelemedicine.com, an emergency medical services Web site.

There is also a camera mounted to the outside of some of the ambulances so medical providers and emergency dispatchers can see the scene of the accident firsthand, said Francisco Leyva, a Tucson city engineer and project manager.

A doctor can remotely zoom in the camera more closely, enhancing an image up to 22 times, to see a specific area on the patient from his workstation in the hospital, according to The Associated Press.

The video link system will be integrated into Tucson's public safety and public works wireless Internet system -- a Wi-Fi network that controls traffic lights and other public safety functions, Leyva said.

Although much stronger, the city's wireless network is similar to the wireless router some have at home, Leyva said. The signal-amplifying devices will be located on outdoor light poles and stoplights.

Creating a "Wi-Fi cloud" over Tucson, the technology allows data to be transmitted wirelessly in area equivalent to about 100 square miles, Leyva added.

There are two main components used in the ER-link program.

The CAREpoint EMS workstation is the computer medical providers use at the hospital, while the Rosetta-VC provides the equipment to the ambulance, according to the manufacturer's Web site.

Although the technology is a step forward for surgeons and doctors, some paramedics said they regard the new system as an intrusion to their work.

"We don't need someone watching what we do," said Tucson Fire Department paramedic Nick Janton. "We're trained, we're skilled, we know what we're doing. It's almost like someone second-guessing our skills in that aspect."




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Communications and Dispatch, Industry News, Technology

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >