AID-N Events

Oral presentation at IEEE Engineering Medicine Biology Society conference. Sep 2005.

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BWI Airport

August 2005. Inside the triage ambulance at BWI Fire and Rescue department.


video telementoring to facilitate triage and treatment 

Tag Cutchis, Raj Ashar

head mount display and bullet camera with click 2 meet To assist responders in treating a medically-diverse group of patients, we propose that medical experts outside of the affected region mentor the first responders in the patients’ treatment until the patients could be transported to a higher level of care. Towards this end, we are adding videoconferencing technologies to the set of tools that first responders carry to communicate with off-site incident support personnel.

During an incident response that incorporates AID-N technologies, the first responder would be able to transmit video of her patients, and the treatment that she provides to her patients, to one or more nurses or doctors for remote consultations. For the first time, videoconferencing will enable first responders to take advantage of medical expertise outside of the affected region’s strained healthcare infrastructure. Additionally, in spite of an incident situation, the patient will benefit from levels of medical care that are closer to those normally available.


A small cylindrical camera, or “bullet cam”, will be strapped to the first responder’s head, and will point in the direction of the first responder’s line-of-sight. The first responder will also don a pair of glasses. In the corner of those glasses, a “heads-up” display, or tiny screen, will show the first responder the video that she’s capturing, like a viewfinder in a camcorder. Video captured by the camera will be transmitted wirelessly from the first responder to a nearby laptop or Tablet PC. Software on that computer will then transmit the video stream over a network to the computer of every medical expert on that videoconference.

Future Directions

There are several ways in which we envision the utility of videoconferencing in large crises will extend to everyday first response: Allowing hospitals to see patients before they roll in the doors may help the hospitals better prepare supplies, rooms, and nurses and doctors. Doctors may guide first responders through urgent surgical procedures for which the first responders are not as well trained in, such as complicated pregnancies and inserting a needle into a person’s heart. Though videoconferencing is a new communications technology to emergency response, it has already become an invaluable tool for remote consults in other branches of medicine. In general, advancements in communications have benefited fields for which the technology was never foreseen. Given the many and varied uses for videoconferencing today, introducing videoconferencing technology into emergency response seems worth investigating, and could quite likely improve outcomes in both expected and unanticipated ways.