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Why Does India Desperately Need an Ambulance App? While the technology is in favour of patients who might need these emergency medical services at any point in time, unfortunately, the circumstances are not!

By Pranav Bajaj

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Ambulances have always been at the forefront of emergency medical services. While the earlier versions of these vehicles were meagrely designed to comfortably take the patient to the nearest hospital, the modern day renditions are far better.

Today, it isn't surprising to see ambulances in various shapes and sizes, offering a wide array of facilities such as intravenous drips, oxygen, heart defibrillators, splints drugs and much more. In fact, other than various pre-medical emergency facilities, the contemporary ambulances are also installed with radios, location tracking technology and much more.

However, when it comes to ensuring that every patient's emergency medical needs are catered to, not all seems well. There are certain drawbacks that are inherent to the current infrastructure. Let us discuss the same, and see, whether if the same can be resolved using a new-age mobile application dedicated to ambulances.

The Problem

While the technology is in favour of patients who might need these emergency medical services at any point in time, unfortunately, the circumstances are not! If you're wondering how? Then let us help you get acquainted with certain facts.

  • As per the World Health Organisation or WHO, in any city, there must be at least 1 ambulance on 80,000 people. However, when we speak of the national capital Delhi, the ratio is appalling. Here, only 1 ambulance for every 1,50,000 people is at work.
  • Out of the available ambulances, some are booked for non-emergency cases, such as transferring a patient from one health care centre to another or simply taking back a discharged patient home. Ambulances can also be pre-booked for pregnant or disabled patients, to help them reach the medical establishments in a convenient manner. Needless to say, this further puts a dent in the ambulance - people ratio.
  • Then again, WHO recommends a standard response time of 8-10 minutes for an ambulance. This implies, that once the request for an ambulance has been made, it must reach the location of the patient, within under 10 minutes of time. Given the overall lag in emergency services, the response time is far from ideal.
  • As per the data given by All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS, as many as 28% of the patients lose out on efficient and reliable emergency medical services due to non-availability of ambulances.

Furthermore, the road conditions, the infrastructure facilities and other aspects such as high traffic situations, and absence of distinct pathways for emergency assistance vehicles result in extreme delays.

The Solution

Given the dismal state of current circumstances, it is discernible that the national capital, as well as the country, on the whole, needs a path breaking idea which can help make emergency medical services accessible to the general population.

To this end, it seems a mobile-based application can do the trick. As has been seen in the case of mobile-based cab services, an app dedicated for an ambulance might help bring the power back in the hands of the common man. Ideally, the app can offer benefits like -

  • Booking an ambulance for emergency services
  • Booking an ambulance for non-emergency cases
  • Locating the nearest available ambulance and requesting the same
  • Receiving the information and contact details of the driver
  • Tracking the movement of the ambulance
  • Receiving accurate details with respect to the time that the ambulance was in use and the distance that it travelled.

As far as the back end of such a service is concerned, the owners/managers of the ambulance fleets can be roped in. With the help of meticulously designed technology, these ambulance owners or managers can -

  • Track all the ambulances at once
  • Receive requests for ambulance bookings
  • Locate the nearest available ambulance for allocation
  • Send across driver's information and contact details to the patient
  • Depending on patient's condition, allocate a suitable ambulance with the requisite features
  • Depending on patient's condition, designate a paramedic and/or a doctor to be sent with the ambulance for Basic or Advanced Life Support, as required

Not only can such an app play a pivotal role in the way people avail emergency medical services, but can also prove to be extremely advantageous to the doctors. Given that the patient will be catered to, in the minimum possible time, he can be offered quick and efficient medical care, so that when he finally reaches the hospital, he is already in a stable or comparatively better state.

Moreover, in cases, when the patient is being transferred from a remote area, the paramedical staff can communicate with the concerned doctor and provide the patient with the requisite care and prescribed drugs. This can be done by enabling the app in a manner that helps the doctor monitor the patient, while he/she is still in the ambulance. This can go a long way in saving the patient's life.

It is now just a matter of time before such an app is introduced, and patients all around the country receive ample medical attention, precisely when it is required and where it is required.

Pranav Bajaj

Founder of Medulance

Pranav Bajaj is the founder of an ambulance booking app - Medulance.

Medulance is India’s first GPS-based technology platform for ambulance booking.

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