EMS World

AUG 2011

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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LifeBot’s DREAMS Takes to the HP Slate Tablet PC feedback from responders. Larger knobs, easier accessibility to emergency buttons, battery life, and weight and durability are all issues currently being addressed. Another key issue DHS has considered is price. In an age where jurisdic- tions are cutting budgets instead of adding to them, it is important to make sure the devices won’t price agencies out of the market. Chirhart says agencies don’t need to switch out all their radios, and instead could focus on equipping supervisors and incident commanders with the new devices. He pointed out that if the price is afford- able, there wouldn’t be as much of a restriction to purchasing the radios for everyone. “Our goal was to have a multi-band radio avail- able that is comparable in price to a single-band radio,” he says. “If the cost of the radio is the same as a single-band radio you’re going to buy anyway, you’re more likely to buy a multi-band radio.” ● Paul Peluso is a member of the EMSWorld.com news team. 1.5 lbs. That’s how little weight you have to tote to carry LifeBot’s DREAMS (Disaster Relief and Emergency Medical Services) telemedi- cine software on the job—as installed on an HP Slate tablet PC. The integrated pair is now in preview mode under the name ‘DREAMS/ LifeBot Slate.’ LifeBot is also selling its own confi gured version of the HP Slate today, for use by EMS workers in the fi eld. “The LifeBot Slate is an incredibly rugged, capable and reliable field computer,” says Roger Heath, LifeBot’s CEO. “Even without DREAMS soft- ware—which is still being transitioned from the military to the civilian market—the LifeBot Slate provides first responders with tremendous tele- medicine capabilities with DREAMS.” Despite its lightweight size, the LifeBot Slate packs a lot of performance. It is equipped with a 1.6GHz Pentium PC CPU, 2MB RAM and 64GB flash drive. The unit has an 8.9" WSVGA touchscreen, with the ability to be seen from a number of angles, rather than just head-on. In addition to its broadband wireless connectivity— which allows EMS users to connect directly to a receiving hospital, and confer/send data in real time—the LifeBot Slate has two video cameras. The first is a 3 MP camera on the outside of the unit, allowing an EMS provider to show the extent and nature of a patient’s injuries to remote locations using video or high-resolution digital stills. The second is a webcam mounted near the monitor screen. This allows the EMS provider to be seen live during teleconferences. Worth noting: The LifeBot Slate is a Windows 7 machine. “This means it meets DoD and large institutions security standards,” Heath notes. “Although iPads can be found throughout the U.S. government, they are not always approved for secure applications. Windows 7 systems are, which is why we chose this operating system for the LifeBot Slate and DREAMS.” With its ability to run DREAMS, the LifeBot Slate brings advanced portable telemedicine one step closer for civilian EMS. The DREAMS program is a $14 million advanced first responder system developed by the U.S. Army, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Texas A&M University. Despite its ‘military-first’ orientation, DREAMS has been riding along with ambulances in Texas’ Liberty and Bryan counties for the past six years. “The DREAMS team is developing a back- pack version of DREAMS that can be used on the battlefield,” says Heath. “This will provide our warfighters with the best possible care while in theater. It will vastly enhance how much medics can do for injured soldiers, because they will be able to consult with specialists in real-time— and the specialists will see the injuries for themselves.” So when will the U.S. civilian EMS market get to install DREAMS on their LifeBot Slates? “On our current timetable, we will make DREAMS available to civilian EMS within 3–5 months,” says Heath. When this happens, ambulances fitted with this technology will be able to share high-quality video with specialists at receiving hospitals, plus any other medical facilities whose analysis could help. The system’s AVL/GPS technology will allow dispatch to more accurately assess hospital arrival times, and make it simpler to send extra vehicles and helicopters to the scene. In the meantime, it is possible for EMS agen- cies to acquire and begin using LifeBot Slates today, upgrading them to add DREAMS when the software becomes available. For more, see www. lifebot.us.com. ● James Careless is a freelance journalist with extensive experi- ence covering public-safety communications issues. EMSWORLD.com | AUGUST 2011 55

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