In his EMS Today 2016 presentation Artificial Intelligence: Bridging Human Decision-Making and Technology in EMS, Josh Davies, MA, CEM, said, “The speed of the advancement of technology, and in particular autonomous systems, is exponentially faster than at any previous time in history. If EMS organizations are not on top of what is just down the road, they will like suffer from inefficiency, higher costs and customer service challenges.”
The session provided an overview of the role of the Internet of Things (IoT), connected vehicle technology (including dedicated short-range communications), and self-driving or autonomous vehicles in emergency medical services systems today, in the near future, and in the next decade.
Most EMS providers use some level of autonomous systems today ranging from automatic vehicle locator (AVL) systems, remote inventory control, wireless vehicle disruption capabilities, and telemetry. Davies’ presentation bridged the current use of technology with new mandates and laws that are already effective and provided examples of how artificial intelligence can benefit an EMS organization in meeting the Triple Aim and in making EMS safer for the professionals who provide emergency services every day.
“No doubt that the integration of technology is awesome and exciting, but the primary reason everyone must understand it is that it provides the opportunity to keep EMTs, paramedics and first responders safer as they do their job,” Davies said. “Technology provides a new level of safeguards that can keep our responders more aware of hazards and limit the chances of injury or death.”
The presentation also addressed:
- Integrating the EMS Agenda for the Future and artificial intelligence
- Increasing numbers of the medically fragile in society based on access to technology
- Homeland security considerations of autonomous systems including intentional and unintentional disruptions
- Exceedance probability, cascading failures, and connected system conflicts
- The future of EMS systems, manned and unmanned
“I’m not suggesting that everyone in EMS needs to become a technology geek,” Davies said, “but every EMS system must have an awareness of what is on and just beyond the horizon to keep public safety responders prepared to serve the populations of the future.”
For more coverage of EMS Today 2016, click here.