Pilot implementation of a technologically advanced system for the optimization of pre-hospital, trauma patient care

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2010 Jul;16(4):300-7.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulances
  • Electronics
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Greece
  • Hospitals, University / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Trauma Centers / organization & administration*