Background: Cooperation between medical informatics, wireless communication and pre-hospital emergency services is essential for the optimal pre-hospital patient treatment. The use of technological innovations improves medical care in the pre-hospital setting with regard to the organization of an integrated center, which coordinates all parties involved for the patient's best interest.
Methods: A dispatch center was developed in the city of Patras, in southwestern Greece, equipped with a Geographic Information System (GIS), which immediately points out the location of emergency vehicles (EVs) on a digital map depicting the city plan. Additionally, three ambulances of the National Center of Immediate Aid (NCIA) were equipped with a decentralized traffic management system for the vehicle's traffic priority at signaled junctions. The system consisted of a cellular-based (GSM) telemedicine module, a Global Positioning System (GPS) and a web camera system in the vehicle cabin.
Results: The aforementioned system provided considerable assistance to the pre-hospital treatment first by selecting the ambulance closest to the accident's location and then by pinpointing the optimum route to the hospital, thus significantly reducing the overall transportation time.
Conclusion: The project's objective to coordinate emergency hospital departments involved in the treatment of trauma patients with other emergency services by utilizing high technology was achieved within this interdisciplinary effort.