Using Technology to Enhance Rural Resilience in Pre-hospital Emergencies

Anne Helen Schneider, Alasdair Mort, Peter Kindness, Chris Mellish, Ehud Reiter, Philip Wilson

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Abstract

This paper contributes to understanding of the geography of emergency pre-hospital care in rural Scotland and explores the role technology can play in improving the resilience of rural communities. In rural areas worldwide, it can be difficult to access appropriate health services locally and long journeys present challenges to the delivery of care. Poor mobile network coverage, remote locations with poor transport networks and inclement weather can all delay the arrival of help. The Scottish Ambulance Service operates a Community First Responder (CFR) scheme to care for patients in mainly rural areas while an ambulance is on its way. Community First Responders are volunteers trained in the basics of life-support but may have to care for patients with life-threatening illness (and sometimes injury) for a considerable period of time. Our paper showcases the Managing Information in Medical Emergencies project, which aims to support CFRs. We have developed novel technology to enable CFRs to capture a greater volume of patient data (including physiological parameters), provide them with an enhanced awareness of a patient's medical status and automatically generate handover reports for them. It is hoped that the handover reports improve the chain of communication from first person on scene to definitive care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Volume131
Issue number3-4
Early online date26 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Keywords

  • pre-hospital care
  • community resilience
  • demographic ageing
  • emergency medicine
  • first aid
  • community first responders
  • natural language generation

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