Improving medical emergency response and preventing more untimely deaths rely on the continuous development of medical technology. From telemedicine to blood clot accelerators, modern medical technologies are rapidly emerging and pushing the healthcare industry forward by leaps and bounds. Not only that, but modern technology is also making healthcare professionals’ jobs easier, helping them attend to patients faster and more efficiently during emergencies.
What are the new technologies that are shaping emergency care as we speak? Here are some of the best examples that are worthy of highlighting:
Mobile integrated healthcare
MIH healthcare service is an emergency medical service that provides out-of-hospital care for 911 callers who are not experiencing a real emergency. For example, when a 911 caller is experiencing an emotional breakdown that does not require an ambulance, mobile-integrated healthcare will direct them to the appropriate healthcare facilities and providers, which, in this case, can be a mental health professional. Other services included in this system are law enforcement, hospitals, public health services, and social services.
This type of healthcare system improves the patient experience while easing the strain on the 911 system and emergency rooms. Moreover, it gives the patient exactly what they need during that time, even if it is not considered a real emergency.
Telemedicine has made leaps in terms of development, especially during this pandemic where inpatient visits are limited to prevent the spread of the virus. Telemedicine provides an alternative for patients to receive medical care without going to the hospital, increasing access to healthcare with minimal burden on hospitals and healthcare staff. In recent advancements, telemedicine allows patients to check in with the ER before arrival. This virtual pre-assessment determines if patients need to go to the hospital or if they can delay their visit.
As a result, patients who don’t need to go to the ER can receive care in their own homes. This saves money for everyone involved: the patients, insurance companies, and the healthcare facilities themselves.
Logistics and capacity allocation AI
Artificial intelligence technology can help hospitals, especially high-capacity facilities, predict the statistical probability of a major event that can have patients rushing into the ER. This type of AI technology uses operational data to analyze patterns and predict major events, such as large accidents, before they happen. In doing so, the AI helps emergency staff prepare faster and more efficiently to provide immediate care to the potential influx of patients.
Medical training video games
Video games have evolved so much ever since the first console made its way to the market. Today, video games can also be used for medical training for health professionals working in different departments and specialties.
A great example is Night Shift, a video game that presents different scenarios wherein players must figure out the level of care needed. According to a study from the British Medical Journal, doctors who played the game under-triaged patients 53% of the time, less than doctors who did not play and under-triaged 64% of the time. This type of game helps ER doctors make decisions quickly even with incomplete information, helping prevent avoidable deaths in the ER and make the triage system much more efficient.
Ever since drones became commonplace, they were used in many different industries for many different purposes. In the healthcare industry, drones are being considered as an option for delivering emergency supplies to patients in far-flung areas.
There are many types of scenarios wherein drones can be what stands between a patient and sudden death in an emergency. For example, when someone in a remote location is bleeding steadily and there are no blood supplies available at the local healthcare facility, a drone can be used to deliver blood fast enough to save that patient’s life. Another application is during natural disasters where delivering medical supplies to people by road is close to impossible. When drones are used, emergency responders can receive airdropped supplies quickly and assume medical care just in time.
Although not yet a reality, driverless ambulances are being considered by some governments to reduce the need for emergency personnel to respond to every call while still providing care to patients. With driverless ambulances, patients who are considered “low-risk” will be picked up and driven to the nearest healthcare facility, which is extremely helpful if the patient cannot drive or does not have another form of viable transportation.
From the few technologies that we have discussed in this article, we can say that the future of emergency care looks bright. Will the days of chaotic emergency rooms and ballooned medical bills be a thing of the past? We can only hope the development of modern medical technology further alleviates the strain on patients, emergency personnel, and the healthcare industry as a whole.