With the advancement of technology, numerous experts have predicted quite a few changes for the field of EMS. An excellent article at EMS1.com has delved into several of these predictions. Along with compiling data, they interviewed healthcare experts and discussed the various possibilities. Below we have included some of these predictions from EMS1’s insightful article.
Read on to learn about predictions for the future of EMS!
1. Field labs and portable imaging: According to EMS1, one suggestion they have frequently received is making point-of-care labs and portable imaging more widely available to prehospital providers.
David K. Tan, MD was one of the professionals they consulted. He believes that “field lactate monitors and biomarkers for stroke, STEMI, and sepsis will become widespread.” He also relayed that he thinks biomarkers—“finger stick glucose checks”—will be used to identify acute stroke as well as myocardial infarction (heart attacks). Together, these actions could revolutionize transport destination decisions.
2. Driverless ambulances: Experts also predict that driverless ambulances will be utilized in the future. As stated in the EMS1 article, collision avoidance technology would likely be used in these transformed ambulances.
Ryan Greenberg relayed the following: “Imagine the benefits of a driverless ambulance on patient care if two providers can focus on the patient.” Tim Nowak, another expert, explained that motorists might receive notifications for incoming EMS vehicles. This may include notifications that say “emergency scene ahead” or “alert, approaching emergency response vehicle, be prepared to pull over.”
3. EMS professionals no longer lift patients: Unfortunately, lifting patients can cause significant injuries for EMS workers.1 At EMS1, several professionals voiced the need to eliminate manual lifts. They argued that doing so would ultimately reduce operating costs and improve safety conditions.
Rom Duckworth reasoned that “within 10 to 20 years, military advances in the research and design of exo-suits, which are wearable machines for increased strength and endurance, will translate directly into uses for emergency responders.” He explained that exo-suits would reduce the wear, tear, and fatigue of consistent physical work and allow patients to be moved in a safer manner.
Dave Konig added: “We will see self-automation becoming integrated within EMS in self-driving ambulances and self-propelled stretchers that will maneuver themselves in a heeled fashion to the provider.”
4. Voice activation technology: When speaking with EMS1, Ann Marie Farina suggested the use of voice-activated tech for EMS devices. She explained that “being able to say ‘ZOLL, mark event’ or ‘LIFEPAK, start print’ could be helpful in reducing equipment contamination and preventing people from standing up when they should be seat-belted.”
Kelly Grayson, another expert, asked a related question: “Why don’t cardiac monitors have Bluetooth and voice-activated event recordings? I can train my smartphone to recognize my voice, type text, and carry out simple commands.”
5. The expansion of telemedicine: Some experts predict that telemedicine will increase drastically. According to EMS1, it already assists in stroke patient assessment and decision making for transport destinations. In the ever-changing landscape of our world, the use of two-way video communication could prove to be a vital asset for expert/complex assessment.
Ryan Greenberg explained it best to EMS1: “A distant paramedic or other clinician, linked to EMS crews in the field, will provide an additional ALS evaluation on complex medical calls. A distant paramedic could also add a mental health professional with video conferencing to assessments of patients with behavioral emergencies.”
Overview of Unitek EMT
If EMS1’s predictions about the future of EMS tech has inspired you, allow us to give you a brief overview of our EMT program. At Unitek EMT, we strive to prepare our students for a career in EMS. Veteran EMS professionals impart vital knowledge and skills through a combination of professional lectures, practical training, and workshop-style classes.
We believe these experiences greatly benefit our students and influence their success. If you’ve been searching for EMT basic training or you’re curious about EMT education requirements, we offer an EMT program with several variations to better accommodate our students. These include a 14-Day Boot Camp2 and an Expanded Online Hybrid at our Fremont Campus in Northern California. We also offer a modified version of the Boot Camp at our facility in Chandler, Arizona.
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2 Our 14-Day EMT Program in AZ and the 14-Day on-ground portion of the EMT Program in CA are taught in an intensive “boot camp” style, to simulate the fast pace of work expected on the job as an EMT. The California EMT Program also includes online instructional hours.