Technology Gives EMS Departments a Helping Hand This National EMS Week

EMS First Responder

How LTE is Delivering More Efficient & Effective Care for Communities

On this National EMS Week, let’s celebrate our emergency medical services agencies. First responder agencies are a vital lifeline in our communities and are often under staffed and underfunded. As we honor EMS professionals, let’s also look at the new technologies that aid them and will change how they serve our communities.

For years, fire and police departments have been leveraging LTE, a key step on the pathway to 5G, to increase their response times, interdepartmental connectivity speeds, and mobile connectivity as well as open doors to new technologies to help better meet their needs and keep their communities safe. Similar opportunities exist for emergency medical service departments, yet we have not seen these agencies fully adopt the varying capabilities available. EMS teams provide vital services to their communities—often despite the incredible odds previously mentioned.

The hype around the arrival of 5G has led to many promises of faster Internet speeds, higher quality internet connections, and more advanced technology opportunities, but the reality is far more exciting. Because of this, Cradlepoint is encouraging EMS leaders to follow the lead of police and fire agencies and explore leveraging Gigabit-Class LTE technologies. By utilizing these network technologies, agencies can create efficiencies and help ease the everyday burden emergency medical service professionals’ shoulder. Most notably, embracing Gigabit-Class LTE for increased mobile connectivity unlocks opportunities like smart ambulances, telemedicine, and AVL and telematics—all of which offer real-world aid to EMS teams in providing the most efficient and effective care for their communities. 

Smart Ambulances

With state-of-the-art technologies like, Cradlepoint's Elastic Edge vision and NetCloud Manager, EMS teams can turn their emergency vehicles into smart ambulances with a WiFi connectivity hub for mission-critical communications with secure IoT device connectivity. This enables faster response times, more efficient inventory control and monitoring, and streamlined logistical processes. The on-the-ground benefits are not only time-saving and stress-reducing but equate to saving more lives.

Real-world examples include connected shelves within the vehicle to monitor critical medical inventory and distribute alerts when a particular supply is low. This helps eliminate the current daily need for a medical professional to climb into all 100+ vehicles to manually check inventory. Sensors on gas and oxygen tanks also aid in remote monitoring.

Crucial yet addictive medications such as opioids must be locked up, monitored closely, and logged when used. Smart ambulances automatically log when medicine is used, providing automation and additional checks and balances on medicine management.

“Reliable Connectivity for our ePCR system is a critical component of both quality patient care and efficient service wide operations. Traditional consumer cellular network device and networks are not built with the dependability and mobile capabilities needed by EMS operators. With Cradlepoint devices remotely managed by NetCloud Services our ambulance downtime caused by connectivity and IT  hardware issues has been reduced 90 percent," said Kevin Gona, chief of logistics for IEMS.

Telemedicine

While telemedicine consultations are becoming widely available, many ambulances and EMS agencies are not taking advantage of this technology, but with the deployment of Gigabit-Class LTE solutions, departments can connect their ambulances to clinics and emergency room specialists to enable EMTs to start critical triage and treatments quickly, reliably, and securely. This means live support from doctors stationed at hospitals to allow EMT professionals to perform procedures in-ambulance that are simple, life-prolonging, and time-sensitive—such as cauterizing a wound or starting stroke treatment.

AVL and Telematics

Telematics can monitor all aspects of an ambulance from engine temperature, service statistics, and overall vehicle health. AVL can help track and tailor routes to service locations. These applications help to improve response times but require pervasive connectivity. Other benefits also include a reduction in fuel consumption, reduced speeds and travel time, and decreased overtime.

These examples are just a few ways in which progressive medical service teams have adopted and implemented cutting-edge technologies, but not enough EMS teams have taken full advantage of the life-saving impacts Gigabit-Class LTE can have on an agency and its community. This National EMS Week, we encourage every EMS department to review the technology that’s currently available and look into how they can implement it with their own team.

To discover more about how LTE is shaping faster and smarter responses for EMS read this first responder e-Book.