• #31 - Emergency Medicine • MedicalExpo e-Magazine
    September 14, 2017

    The Smart e-Magazine About Medical Technology Innovation


    REPORT. Saved by Drones

    Q&A. Shaping Emergency Medicine in 2050

    FOCUS. A Video Peek at Deep Throat

    Emergency Medicine

    Autonomous vehicles, drones, precision medicine and artificial intelligence could soon change emergency medical services.

    In this new edition of MedicalExpo e-magazine, we talk about the EMS Agenda 2050, an American initiative that is trying to shape what emergency will be like in the second half of the century. 

    What if drones could save lives? While they were originally developed for military purposes, aerial drones are now being used for blood deliveries that can save rather than take lives. A service is already available in Rwanda.



    Fullpage Primedic
    Hot Topic
    A drone can deliver a defibrillator to an emergency scene more quickly than an ambulance.


    What if drones could save lives? While they were originally developed for military purposes, aerial drones are now being used for blood deliveries that can save rather than take lives. A fix-winged drone, known as a Zip, takes off like a shot from a droneport in Rwanda in East Africa with a life-saving cargo. The...

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    Smart People
    Self-driving ambulances should increase safety significantly and reduce the number of accidents.
    Karsten Moran for The New York Times

    In the US, the EMS Agenda 2050 is trying to shape what emergency medical services (EMS) will be like in the second half of the century. Guided by technical experts consisting of EMS directors, professors of emergency medicine and fire chiefs, it is supported by various federal institutions. MedicalExpo e-magazine spoke with panel facilitator Mike Taigman about how autonomous vehicles, precision medicine and artificial intelligence will change EMS.


    MedicalExpo e-magazine: What is the EMS Agenda 2050?

    Mike Taigman: The Agenda 2050 is radically inclusive. Every person involved in EMS in the US can be involved, through every channel—regional meetings, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We are also supported by four federal institutions. This is a US-only project. I’m not aware of similar projects dedicated to EMS in other areas of the world.

    MedicalExpo e-magazine: Let’s start with autonomous vehicles. How will self-driving ambulances impact EMS ?

    Mike Taigman: Autonomous vehicles should increase safety significantly and reduce the number of accidents. The same will be true for self-driving ambulances. They will be able to move faster, which is key for EMS. At the same time, there may be less call for them. The most time-critical interventions are chest compression and defibrillator use. These interventions are moving away from EMS and into the community. And there’s no need for an ambulance when you’ve got a defibrillator nearby. You also need to think of drones and how quickly they could deploy such devices.

    ems_agenda2050_logo_sliderMedicalExpo e-magazine: Another hot topic is precision medicine and the use of tailored, gene-based medications.

    Mike Taigman: I can envision a time when your genetic profile will be available with your medical profile and records. With both genetics and an accurate description of your symptoms, a machine might be able to deliver customized treatments.

    MedicalExpo e-magazine: How will artificial intelligence change EMS?

    Mike Taigman: I remember attending a congress a few years ago where there was a competition between physicians and automated systems concerning abdominal pain assessment. Artificial intelligence is going to completely change the roles. In the future, a patient will plug directly into a panel of experts and explain that he has diabetes, chest pain and is in his seventies. At this stage, the system could connect him directly to an artificial intelligence system. The paramedic would turn into a data acquirer who choreographs diagnosis from a panel of physicians assisted by AI. And the patient would be included in the choice of treatment.

    MedicalExpo e-magazine: Robotic helpers like the daVinci are gaining traction in operating rooms. Will they make their way into ambulances?

    Mike Taigman: I’m not sure about robotic helpers. Such machines are very large and wouldn’t tolerate bouncing around. That said, some response units are provided with robot-assisted cardiac bypass systems.

    MedicalExpo e-magazine: When can we expect to see the EMS Agenda 2050?

    Mike Taigman: The whole process is intended to move pretty fast. The preliminary draft will appear in April 2018, with a final EMS Agenda 2050 in August 2018.

    Innovation Focus
    When you are working on the roadside, in a ditch or helicopter, usual intubation becomes unusual and video laryngoscopy is better.

    Video laryngoscopy (VL) offers striking magnification for examining parts of the airway that are difficult to see with the naked eye. The technique is catching on in prehospital settings, to replace direct laryngoscopy (DL).   Dr. Marvin Wayne is medical director of Whatcom County Medic One, which provides paramedic...

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    Michael Halpern

    Michael Halpern is a US-born and bred writer with experience in radio. He has lived in southern France for 15 years.

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    Daniel Allen

    Daniel Allen is a writer and a photographer.

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    Howard Wolinsky

    Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago-based freelance journalist specializing in health-care topics.

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    Laura Newman

    Laura Newman is a New York-based medical writer who writes frequently about medical technological advances and health policy.

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