Live video is nowadays commonly used in education and telemedicine. This was not always the case and the sea change has been instigated by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting need for remote consultations and teaching.

However, live video for emergency services is still in early stages of pilots. The rollout is set to become more widespread now that 4G is highly ubiquitous and 5G deployment has begun in many major urban centres.

RedZinc was a founding partner of the HORIZON smart cities project LiveCity in partnership with COSMOTE Hellenic Telecom in Athens. The theme of LiveCity project was to explore how live interactive video could be used to promote the wellbeing of a city. This was long before 5G was rolled out. The live video use cases that were evaluated included education, tourism, social service, telemedicine and emergency services.

Live video for emergency services can make a city smarter in a number of ways:

  • Ambulance services have a certain amount of avoidable conveyance to a hospital emergency department. Avoidable whereby no further engagement by the patient is necessary with hospital services once they arrive and have participated in the triage process. These patients are candidates for “triage-at-scene”. Wearable video can be used by paramedics to provide a remote reality environment to a doctor who can remotely support pre-hospital video based triage for these patients. The possible outcomes can be on-scene first aid, refer to GP or scheduled out-patient clinics. Remote reality based video for the emergency doctor, who is immersed on-scene, can give the paramedic support to treat at scene.
  • The benefits of using video for triage-at-scene are
    • Reduced patient load in the emergency department, freeing badly-needed resources for high acuity patients
    • Higher availability of ambulance services due to reduced patient conveyance.
    • More efficient healthcare system costs
    • Improved carbon foot print because of reduced care miles by diesel based ambulances and reduced care miles by family members who follow patients to hospital
  • Emergency paramedic video can also be used for high acuity cases in a city . In high acuity cases it is necessary to treat the patient as quickly as possible. For a heart attack patient lost time is lost heart muscle tissue. For a stroke patient lost time is lost brain tissue. While many cities’ emergency services have rapid procedures for these patients, the use of video in pre-hospital triage can accelerate the process through quicker treatment.
  • The benefits of using video in high acuity cases are:
    • Better patient outcome due to expedited treatment
    • Reduced rehabilitation costs, especially for stroke patients
    • More accurate triage early on and helps avoid under triage or over triage
  • Urban search and rescue is another use case for emergency video. In urban search and rescue a special team of paramedics rescue people from trapped building, car crashes, chemical spills and other rescue environments. Often a scene commander will not be at the scene and will try to manage the search and rescue effort remotely through mobile phone audio contact and possibly CCTV footage.
  • The benefits of using video in urban search and rescue are:
    • Supports the first responder for faster and more efficient decision-making
    • Facilitates support from the experienced captain to the first responders and rescuers
    • Facilitates multiple eyes looking at the situation resulting in improved outcomes

BlueEye is a unique wearable video solution for telemedicine, public safety and maintenance industries with many applications in Smart Cities. For emergency services, mobile video can be used in many situations to help patients and victims of disasters. This helps to make cities smarter in multiple ways including expediting patients care, taking expertise right into the heart of an emergency situation, supporting the on-scene workers, reducing costs and reducing carbon footprint.

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