Use of technology in collection and communication of pre-hospital data by rural First Responders

Alasdair James Mort, Philip Michael John Wilson, Christopher Stuart Mellish, Ehud Baruch Reiter, Anne Helen Schneider

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Background: Delivering pre-hospital care in rural areas is challenging; there are fewer professionals, the road network is often poor, and weather can cause delays: it takes longer for ambulances to reach rural patients. The Scottish Ambulance Service has therefore trained rural lay people in first-aid and tasked them to respond to medical emergencies. These Community First Responders face considerable challenges, including managing patients with potentially life-threatening conditions, simultaneously collecting data about the patient and then communicating these data succinctly and accurately to the ambulance clinicians arriving on–scene. The University of Aberdeen MIME project (Managing Information in Medical Emergencies) explores the use of technology in supporting rural Community First Responders in their role.

Aim: To develop technology that supports the collection and communication of pre-hospital patient data by lay First Responders in rural areas.

Method: In order to develop handover reports that were appropriate for ambulance clinicians we spoke with a wide range of pre-hospital care groups. In particular, we gave ambulance clinicians sample pre-hospital scenarios and asked them to tell us the format and content of handovers that they would wish to receive. We then refined our software and surveyed ambulance clinicians about some finer details such as how to display timings.

Results: We have developed prototype software that can accept a variety of data inputted by users (e.g. actions, observations, history) and data from novel, wireless medical sensors. The software will also automatically generate handover reports. The development of appropriate handover reports has been particularly challenging because practices and preferences vary so greatly between ambulance clinicians.

Conclusions: We have successfully developed a prototype system that collects and communicates pre-hospital patient data. The next phases of our research will involve ambulance clinicians rating our computer-generated handover reports against reports written by experts and the generation of real data from pre-hospital care.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventScottish School of Primary Care - Inverness, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Apr 201326 Apr 2013


ConferenceScottish School of Primary Care
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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