First responders get a hand with new EMS smartphone app

First responders received a boost to their efforts via a new smartphone app developed by West Penn Allegheny Health System announced this week. 

The app, dubbed EMS Field Partner, helps emergency medical services professionals in determining where to take patients based on how equipped a facility might be for their particular diagnosis. So, for example, if a patient is having chest pains, a first responder can use a smartphone to select the symptom. The app then gives the acting provider the name of the facility most qualified to treat chest pains, as well as directions via an interface with Google maps, according to an announcement. The app also provides a link to WPAHS's LifeFlight Command Center, making it easier to call for a medical helicopter, when necessary. 

"It occurred to us that if any industry could truly benefit from this technology, it's the field of emergency medical care," Dr. Thomas Campbell, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at WPAHS said. "[T]imely information and interaction between healthcare professionals can be the difference between life and death for someone who has suffered a health emergency." 

The app, which was developed by German-based Ritter Technologies, was the brain child of EMS professionals within West Penn Allegheny. It will be available for free at the Apple Store. 

To learn more:
- here's the news release