Dubai doctors to use VR glasses to monitor patients in ambulance

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The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) is currently testing its smart ambulance project.

Soon, emergency room (ER) doctors in Dubai will use virtual and augmented reality technology to help paramedics provide treatment to patients in the ambulance itself.

The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) is currently testing its smart ambulance project. It allows an ER doctor sitting in the hospital view a patient’s data in real-time by wearing virtual reality (VR) glasses and provide initial diagnosis to paramedics.”

Mishal Julfar, acting director of ambulance operation department at the DCAS, said that every minute saved in diagnosing and planning a course of action can improve the chances of the patient’s survival. The VR camera, he explained, will be used by a medical professional in the hospital to assess the condition of the patient in the ambulance.

“The whole idea of the smart ambulance would be to live-stream vital signs of the patient in the ambulance such as measure blood pressure, heart rate, etc. The doctor in the ER will be able to monitor these though his VR glasses and can also see and know what exactly is going on in the ambulance through a 360-degree camera, body cameras and other sensors in the smart ambulance.”

He said the technology can help save time in preparing for the patient’s treatment at the hospital.

“More than 70 per cent of our calls for ambulance are minor cases and are treated on the scene. So we want to make sure we are making the right diagnosis because in a medical emergency, every second counts. This VR solution will help us achieve that by helping our ER physicians to be connected to our paramedics on the scene. This way, the patient’s vitals can be monitored remotely and a diagnosis reached before the patient arrives.”

Currently, the DCAS is still in the testing phase of the smart ambulance, but it is hoping to go live with the pilot project by the end of the year.

“Technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) will soon have a critical role to play in emergency response situations, where every minute saved in diagnosing and planning a course of action improves the chances of the patient’s survival,” Julfar added.