Dubai: Dubai is deploying a high-tech gadget called the ‘Eye of Paramedic’ to enable doctors to remotely “see and treat” patients in the ambulance, it was revealed during the first day of the ‘Dubai Health Forum’ on Wednesday.
The headset for paramedics will beam live data of the patients in the ambulance to doctors in emergency rooms. This will enable doctors to give treatment instructions remotely for critical patient care during the ‘Golden Hour’, the first 60 minutes that are crucial for lifesaving in emergency cases.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, were briefed about the project during their visit to the Dubai Corporation for Ambulances (DCAS) stall at Dubai Health Forum.
Khalifa Hassan Abdul Karim Al Darrai, executive director of DCAS, told Gulf News that the new gadget –jointly introduced by Alleanza Group and Hippo Technologies— was given the name Eye of Paramedic by Sheikh Hamdan during the opening ceremony of the Forum.
Originally named Hippo Virtual Care Solution, the “multi-reality” platform combines the latest in wearable computing with automated clinical workflows specifically designed to extend the reach of specialist clinicians to connect and care for patients remotely.
Al Darrai said the plan is roll out a pilot project with three pieces of the wearable headsets that will be initially connected to the Emergency Department at Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Care Centre.
“Once the system becomes smooth and we achieve the desired results, it will be expanded to the other government and private hospitals. We have made an agreement with 29 hospitals to eventually introduce the system,” he said.
Dr Shamsa Abdulla Ali Hammad, director of Medial and Technical Affairs at DCAS, told Gulf News that the device would be a game-changer in augmenting treatment during the Golden Hour. She said the hands-free, voice-activated, wearable headsets will help doctors see and hear what paramedics are seeing, hearing and saying. “They [doctors] can monitor this from anywhere.”
Brent Hopkins, chief of staff at Hippo technologies, said the doctor viewing the visuals from the ambulance can walk a paramedic through a procedure. “There are four directional microphones [that provide 360-degree coverage]. It picks up the [voice of the] person wearing it. Apart from taking photos and videos, you can integrate it with an inventory management system. You can integrate it with other electronic or medical equipment, devices and signals,” he added.
The device can also scan QR codes. “You can label all your medications with QR codes. When you pick it up, it will scan the code and tell you how much you have in the ambulance, what the expiration date is, if you need to restock on it, etc.”
DCAS already has a system called Care Monix through which the emergency room in the hospital where an ambulance taking a patient gets the personal particulars and vital parameters of the patient in real time.
Real-time data transfer
Dr Shamsa said the new Eye of Paramedic device will complement Care Monix. “While doctors get the parameters through Care Monix in real-time, they can remotely see the patient and assess the physical appearance also and give instructions to start the treatment early from the ambulance itself.”
She added that this will increase the efficiency of patient care especially in critical cases such as strokes.
Hippo’s CEO and Co-founder, Dr Patrick Quinlan, said: “[The new medical solution] can support the delivery of expert care on the ground by supporting EMTs [emergency medical technicians] and first responders during the critical Golden Hour… By simultaneously connecting the physician specialist, Emergency Room team and first responders in the field with a ‘you are there’ immersive experience, it enables advanced clinical collaboration to deliver the right diagnosis and treatment the first time, every time at the scene, during transit, and in the ER.”
Eddie Henaine, CEO of Alleanza Group-MENA, added: “We are excited to bring to the region a new innovative healthcare solution that will enhance the healthcare offering, capability and positively alter practice standards.”