Optimising ER efficiency

November 2007 Surveillance

Zaka ('zihui korbonot asson' – Hebrew acronym for 'disaster victim identification' unit) – 3G cameras broadcast live to emergency room from the field.

The cameras broadcast video from dispatched Zaka ambulance motor scooters to the emergency room in Hadassah Ein Kerem. At the hospital, a team of doctors is able to prepare accordingly, and instruct medics on giving optimal treatment.

A pilot programme has been in place for a number of months that has new significance for treating the wounded: SerVision, an Israeli company, has developed video camera systems that broadcast 3G video directly from disaster scenes to the emergency room. The live video broadcast is viewed by doctors in the emergency room, who are able to gauge the extent of the injuries and to instruct emergency workers at the scene on how to treat complex injuries.

In a trial run that was deemed a success, cameras connected to digital video recorders (DVRs) that transmit video over 3G cellular networks were installed on the ambulance motor scooters of Zaka volunteers in Jerusalem. Video is simultaneously sent to doctors in the trauma unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital who make critical decisions about administering treatment, preparing the appropriate operating room, alerting specialists, and providing instructions to caregivers.

It is possible to view the live video transmission on 3G mobile phones, and not just on a computer screen. As a result, even if the doctor on duty is away from his computer, it is possible for him to receive a warning message and view a live transmission from the scene with the help of a mobile phone. Doctors have the ability to control the cameras remotely from the emergency room.

In 2001, SerVision registered a global patent on a video compression algorithm that is capable of transmitting video at a speed of 96 kilobytes per second. This fact makes it possible to send video broadcasts with outstanding quality over cellular networks.

Video cameras and broadcasting devices that are placed on the motor scooters have solid-state functions that reduce vibrations and remain highly stable when broadcasting video while driving, and when the motor scooter climbs stairs or drives over bumps. The cameras are also able to broadcast high quality video in dark conditions.

This latest development has already received a lot of interest throughout the world. In the meantime, SerVision hopes it will succeed in convincing other organisations that work in the emergency medical field, including Magen David Adom and the Army Medical Corps, of the system's importance and efficiency.

For more information contact Graphic Image Technologies, 27 (0)11 884 9570, [email protected], www.git.co.za


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