WORLD FIRST: Secure live video streaming technology for emergency first responder app

Top Quote Emergency first responder app, GoodSAM has become the first emergency healthcare app in the world to develop a secure in-app live video streaming function. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) February 11, 2016 - Via a smartphone, the app's new function can now provide emergency care providers and registered first responders the ability to see a patient on scene and assess the severity of their injuries remotely, which can help determine correct resources and urgency of care needed.

    The app, which uses GPS technology to alert trained first responders including off duty doctors, nurses and paramedics, to nearby medical emergencies, is available to download free on any smartphone device. The video function, which is currently available on iOS software and will soon be available on Android, is embedded within the app. Among its many benefits; nearby medically trained first responders who have accepted to help the patient can, in advance, see the seriousness of the patient or the safety of the scene; emergency care providers that integrate with the app can see exactly what is happening on scene, which could aid dispatch decisions and; in major incidents it could provide rescuers with direct access to what is going on, on the ground.

    Commenting on the innovation, GoodSAM's Medical Director Dr Mark Wilson, said: "This is a major breakthrough in healthcare technology. The possible benefits to patients are incredible. Allowing medical professionals access to see a patient can help in assessing the patient's needs. Via the app, the responder can see the patient and the scene and as ambulance services utilise the technology it may aid appropriate resourcing. A picture paints a thousand words and in many ways this can bring the emergency services to the scene immediately."

    The app uses numerous technologies to ensure that high levels of security and patient confidentiality are maintained. GoodSAM's Technical Director Ali Ghorbangholi who led the development of the App explains, "GoodSAM's new video streaming function offers end-to-end encryption between users on all servers ensuring private, safe and secure real-time communications. In transferring the data between users, the data is first encrypted using the Datagram Transport Layer Security, which prevents sniffing or information tampering. To further reinforce this, the app also encrypts video and audio data via the Secure Real Time Protocol method, ensuring that voice and video traffic cannot be heard or seen by unauthorised parties."

    The GoodSAM App can be easily integrated into an ambulance service's dispatch system to automatically alert a community of off-duty ambulance staff and people trained in life support directly from a 999 call. The London Ambulance Service recently became the first ambulance service in the world to use this function. The App is now hoping to create similar partnerships with other global ambulance services and the live video streaming function is now available for any organisations who wish to utilise it.

    When a member of the public comes across a medical emergency, by touching the GoodSAM emergency button it will immediately dial 999 but while the caller is talking to the emergency control operators, their phone is also alerting first responders within 200 metres who can help until the emergency services arrive. The video function can be simultaneously accessed by multiple parties if needed; the first responder while they are on route to help, or by ambulance services who integrate the technology into their dispatch system.

    With over 7,000 first responders currently signed up as Good Samaritans across the world, the creators are appealing for more medically trained people to sign up as 'responders' and to members of the public to become 'alerters'. Both the GoodSAM Alerter and Responder apps are available free to download for Android and iOS from ITunes and GooglePlay.

    Dr Wilson added: "If someone is in cardiac arrest the earlier quality CPR can be performed, the better the chance of patient survival. GoodSAM alerts nearby first responders that can go and help before the ambulance service arrives. If a defibrillator is readily available, the location of which is shown on the GoodSAM app, patients are up to six times as likely to survive. Everyone who has a smartphone has a life-saving device in their pocket. They just need to download the GoodSAM app in case they ever need to use it."

    Siobhra Murphy s.murphy ( @ ) goodsamapp dot org

    How the GoodSAM App works
    In a life threatening emergency anyone who has downloaded the GoodSAM Alerter app can simply open it and press 'Call for Help'. The app identifies their geographical location and as soon as the call is confirmed as a medical emergency the app does two things simultaneously; dials 999 to request the emergency services and sends a group alert to the nearest GoodSAM Responders.

    When a GoodSAM Responder receives an alert, using the app they can either accept the request for help or reject it if they are unavailable. If they reject the request or don't respond within 20 seconds, the next nearest responder is alerted.

    The person triggering the alert is advised that a group of responders has been alerted and notifies them when a GoodSAM Responder is on their way.

    The app guides the GoodSAM Responder to the exact location of the alerter and identifies where the nearest defibrillator is located. A built in messaging service means the alerter and the responder can communicate on route if required.

    Once on scene a GoodSAM responder can reassure the patient and begin performing basic first aid and life support as required before handing over the emergency services.

    There is a firm governance process in place and all Good Samaritans are verified manually.

    When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 10%*.

    A defibrillator is a machine that delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest and there are a growing number of defibrillators available in public places for first aiders to use in an emergency.

    The GoodSAM app can pinpoint the nearest defibrillator based on known information. Whether a GoodSAM Responder or Alerter, uses of the app can add to this register making it the most comprehensive and reliable source of defibrillator information.

    GoodSAM users can do this by taking photos of any defibrillators they locate and upload them to the app, noting their type, condition and most importantly their accessibility.

    *British Heart Foundation

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