Text by: Alexis Gizikis – Project Manager – European Emergency Number Association EENA112

In a previous description of the scope of the E112 Service in WorkingAge, we mentioned that the emergency message generated by the WAOW tool and sent to a PSAP, will also include medical data of the WAOW user, after explicit consent has been provided. This feature enables the study of the impact of medical data provision on the emergency call handling, the situational awareness of first responders and the resulting planned emergency response.

In the article about “How can PSAPs benefit best from enriched data sending about an emergency event?”, we raised the questions:

  • How to display these data to make it easy to use by the emergency service operator?
  • How to represent medical data?
  • What weight should be given to such data in the decision making?
  • Should these medical data be transformed into a list of required medical equipment?
  • Should this information be used to dimension the medical teams’ size?

At least 40 emergency applications for smartphones provide some kind of medical data to PSAPs and emergency call-takers. But how useful is this data?

In September 2020, EENA published the report “Impact of COVID-19 on PSAP activities”. The report describes the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on emergency services and the required adaptations taken in the short time frame. In the second section describing how PSAPs handled the impact of COVID-19, EENA surveyed 32 emergency services professionals from 25 countries, between 27 May to 30 June 2020. Responses were received from of police, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, and 112 PSAPs / Emergency Management Agencies.

One of the questions in the survey asked, “Would it have been useful to automatically receive basic medical data?

  • 59% of respondents stated automatic reception of basic medical data would have been useful during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • 20% of respondents stated it wouldn’t have been useful
  • 22% of respondents were unsure

Respondents were overall supportive of introducing the opportunity for call-takers/dispatchers to automatically receive medical data about callers, including previous medical conditions, which might have particular interest during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chart, pie chart  Description automatically generated

Figure: Responses to the question “Would it have been useful to automatically receive basic medical data?” [Source: EENA, https://eena.org/knowledge-hub/documents/report-impact-of-covid-19-on-psap-activities/, p. 43]

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