It would be nice to call for emergency medical services and open the door to find a futuristic, fully-equipped ambulance waiting there. EMS teams would be over the moon with options to help those in need. Having emergency medical services software on hand to assess and diagnose patients at the moment with minimal invasion sounds like a dream.
Though advancements are not there yet, technology is improving EMS in many ways every year. Let’s take a look at how technology has advanced to make treating emergent patients easier than in the past.
Telehealth Software or Telepresence
Doctors cannot quickly be brought to the scene when there is an emergent situation; that is what ambulances and EMTs are for. With newer advancements, telehealth video and audio solutions can bring doctors straight to the scene in real-time. This idea was initially created to allow trauma doctors to see and learn more about their patients before arrival and has since developed into a widely used platform over the years.
Telehealth options are also good alternatives for cases that turn out to be non-emergent. EMS can allow doctors to assess and assist the patient without the need for transport, saving everyone involved a lot of unnecessary costs. Through virtual communication, doctors can deem patients as healthy enough to stay home instead of being transported to the ER, freeing up space and time for other patients who may need immediate care.
Voice Activation Technology
The ability to dictate patient notes has always been a bit of a hassle. Now, EMS is able to dictate the patient information directly to their ePCR (electronic patient care report) without typing anything in. This software is able to understand what the operator is saying over the noisy environment of an emergent medical case.
This is a valuable way to save time and money in emergent patient care. The only problem here is that, with technology continually upgrading, new systems have a tendency to become obsolete before they are implemented. It becomes up to the user to decide which software system works best for them.
Mobile Lab Testing
This type of medical technology upgrade can be incredibly useful for many aspects of emergency medical treatment. It allows EMS to monitor potential shock, sepsis, and other blood panels, such as cardiac enzymes. Being able to test and monitor blood with mobility can offer so much to the emergency medical field.
There are a lot of regulation controls on this type of monitoring and diagnostic, however. Many users will need a mobile health lab license to be able to operate mobile testing. They may also need mandated calibration and other possible controls over quality.
Monitoring Blood Circulation
Tissue perfusion monitoring identifies hyperoxygenation along with rising levels of CO2 in the body tissue. In 2014-2015, there were many trials on this kind of monitoring with encouraging results. Due to this, it has since been administered more thoroughly throughout the EMS field. Monitoring blood circulation is critical for patients who may be experiencing shock or other emergent medical situations.
Obtaining the ability to monitor changes in blood pressure can not only make the job of EMS easier; it can save potential emergent patients from death and other serious complications. This advancement has made monitoring patients much more straightforward.
The best possible advancement would be the ability to know what is really going on with a patient before EMS even arrives on the scene. It would be incredibly efficient and helpful if patients could provide their service providers with real-time vitals and other valuable information so that they can be treated immediately.
With today’s advancements in this field, patients can own clips that attach to their phones and provide EMS and doctors with ECG results. All that is required to make this effective is a home Wi-Fi system and a functioning cell phone. Doctors and emergency personnel can also monitor blood pressure, pulse, and blood sugar this way. As technology is always updating and adapting, it would not be entirely surprising if most of the patient monitoring could be done from home in the near future.
Though there are still a lot of advancements to be made and no crystal ball to look into, it is essential to remember that patients are always the number one priority of EMS. Swanky new monitoring systems are cool, but not at the expense of patient treatment and care. If it is determined that these technologies are getting in the way of this, evaluating their actual necessity may be required.
Both training and experience are what allows this process to run smoothly and keep people alive. As long as all of that is utilized, patient care will remain at the top of the concern, even with the technology that is improving EMS worldwide.