The future of emergency medicine: opportunities and challengesAndré Schmitt
Emergency medicine is a field that is constantly evolving and always facing new challenges. In recent years, digitalisation has also found its way into this area and new technologies are opening up more and more possibilities for better medical care in emergency situations. In the following, we take a closer look at some of the current trends and developments in emergency medicine.
Telemedicine in emergency medicine
Telemedicine is a technology that enables medical services to be provided via a digital platform. In emergency medicine, telemedicine can be used especially in rural areas and during disasters to provide medical assistance quickly and efficiently. For example, a doctor or paramedic can communicate with an expert via video transmission to make a diagnosis and initiate adequate treatment. Telemedical care for patients after a stroke or heart attack can also help to improve care and increase survival rates.
One example of the use of telemedicine in emergency medicine is the “Telemedical Rescue Service” app of the DRK regional association of Westphalia-Lippe. Via the app, emergency services can call in a doctor via video and receive support in caring for patients.
Mobile emergency care
Mobile hospitals and medical units can be deployed quickly and flexibly to provide medical care during disasters and in areas with poor infrastructure. These units are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and can be used as mobile hospitals as well as mobile laboratories or X-ray units.
One example of mobile emergency care is the “Emergency Medical System” from the US company EPI Mobile Health Solutions. The system consists of a mobile hospital that can be delivered to any location in the world within 48 hours and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Use of robots in emergency medicine
Robots can play an important role in medical care in emergency situations. For example, they can help remove debris in disaster areas or support the monitoring of patients in hospitals. Robots can also be used to transport medical equipment and consumables.
One example of the use of robots in emergency medicine is the “TUG Robot” from the US company Aethon. The robot can transport medical material and consumables and thus relieve the medical staff.
Advantages and challenges
The benefits of new technologies in emergency medicine are obvious: faster and more precise diagnosis and treatment of patients can save lives and increase survival rates in emergency situations. The care of patients in rural areas or in disaster areas can also be improved through the use of telemedicine and mobile units.
However, there are also challenges in introducing new technologies in emergency medicine. One of the biggest challenges is the security of patient data. Telemedicine applications must comply with data protection regulations and ensure secure transmission of patient data.
Training medical staff to use new technologies is also a challenge. New technologies often also require new competences and skills among users.
Emergency medicine faces great challenges, but also great opportunities. The introduction of new technologies can help improve patient care in emergency situations and save lives. Telemedicine, mobile emergency care and the use of robots are just a few examples of the new possibilities in emergency medicine. However, challenges such as the security of patient data and the training of medical staff must also be considered.
- Bundesministerium für Gesundheit: “Telemedizin” https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/service/begriffe-von-a-z/t/telemedizin.html
- DRK-Landesverband Westfalen-Lippe: “Telemedical Rescue Service” https://www.lv-westfalen-lippe.drk.de/angebote/telemedical-rescue-service.html
- EPI Mobile Health Solutions: “Emergency Medical System” https://www.epimhs.com/emergency-medical-system
- Aethon: “TUG Robot” https://www.aethon.com/solutions/tug-robot/
- Deutsches Ärzteblatt: “Roboter im OP: Fortschritt oder Risiko?” https://www.aerzteblatt.de/archiv/217005/Roboter-im-OP-Fortschritt-oder-Risiko
- Journal of Emergency Medical Services: “Mobile healthcare solutions for disaster and emergency management” https://www.jems.com/ems-insider/articles/2018/06/mobile-healthcare-solutions-for-disaster-and-emergency-management.html