TCIS (Time-Critical Information Services) researchers have identified some critical gaps and consequent opportunities to enable high-quality emergency response across the end-to-end EMS continuum of care.

One critical gap is the need to more seamlessly communicate patient and incident information from EMS “pre-hospital” practitioners to hospital emergency room/trauma center providers. Working with colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, we have a identified an opportunity and need to apply new and emerging mobile, web-based, map-based, and cost-effective technologies to address this information handoff challenge. The CrashHelp System is a web-based information system aimed at helping EMS field personnel (i.e., EMTs, paramedics) to more efficiently capture essential incident and patient information and to securely transmit that data to emergency room/trauma center practitioners.

  1. Paramedics/EMT’s use a smartphone to securely capture pictures, digital audio recordings, video, and the most basic patient and incident information.
  2. The information collected on scene is sent securely to emergency room/trauma center facilities to a secure web-based interface for practitioners to view on demand.

This is accomplished using three main components as follows:

  1. A mobile application that resides on a handheld device (currently an Android smartphone) that is used by EMTs/paramedics in the field.
  2. A “middleware” application that includes a centralized CrashHelp database, a web server, and an application server that receives, stores, processes, and securely transmits information across the CrashHelp components.
  3. A web-based application for viewing data captured by the EMTs/paramedics. This resides on the “middleware” server and can be accessed by the ED / Trauma Center and oversight personnel using an industry standard web browser.
    An overview of the architecture is shown below.