Training at the Dubai Ambulance headquarters in Dubai. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: A new project launched by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) aims to ‘accelerate’ response time to less than four minutes by keeping qualified individuals in emergency rescue procedures on standby in case an emergency breaks.

The “Instant Response”, one of the winning projects launched as part of Dubai’s 10X initiative, will utilise smart systems that rely on artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality to guide individuals in the UAE community on how to respond to an emergency before an ambulance arrives, officials have said.

“Our goal is to involve every qualified resident and visitor in Dubai in the life-saving process,” said Khalifa Bin Darrai, DCAS’ executive director. “This will help in speeding up the response time to less than four minutes in vital areas and improve the quality of emergency services in Dubai.”

Bin Darrai said the project, which will take almost two years to implement, relies on AI technology to analyse large data to get the desired results. “AI will play a pivotal role in analysing patients’ data and predicting their cases so that society members can carry out the right treatment. Emergency staff will also be able to communicate with people and guide them in the process.”

180,000 emergency calls received by the DCAS in 2017, with 80 per cent being minor cases.

The project will be an unprecedented global leap in the course of ambulance services and the medical sector, said Mesha’al Julfar, head of the 10X team at DCAS and head of the medical responder department.

“The survival rate in cases of cardiac arrest is less than 10 per cent and this project has taken that in full consideration. The closest person to the emergency case will provide first-aid ahead of the ambulance arrival and [that person] will be alerted through a touch of a button through a smartphone application.”

In this case, the first-aid provider will communicate with the medical ambulance team via the smart phone and begin to measure vital signs through sensors connected to smart devices. The responder is then guided and instructed by artificial intelligence techniques.

He added that the project aims to predict emergencies, noting that the full implementation of the project will save about Dh1 billion and will record revenues of close to Dh1.2 billion within the next 10 years.

“All 100 per cent of cases will be responded to in less than four minutes in vital areas. The survival rate will increase from 10 per cent to 60 per cent.”

Bin Darrai said the project will have a positive impact on the entity’s operations, especially since 80 per cent of emergency calls involved minor cases, noting that in 2017, DCAS received 180,000 emergency calls.

“We are working on developing the legal frameworks for the project and choosing the right techniques to overcome any challenges. The initiative will be implemented as a pilot project and it will be evaluated and improved until it is finally launched,” he explained.

10X aims to enable Dubai government authorities to be ahead of the world across all key sectors, and transform Dubai into the city of the future, by deploying today what cities around the world will apply 10 years later.