Technology plays an important role in the organization, delivery, and
effectiveness of trauma services, and it will continue to do so in the
future. Recent developments such as automobile telematics (such as On-Star),
Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Automatic Collision Notification (ACN),
and wireless E9-1-1 promise shorter notification time and could bring
beneficial information to dispatch centers, while the nascent field of
telemedicine holds great promise for providing trauma care in remote
locations. The developments mentioned above are being partially supported
through the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), a Federal program
that continues to pursue technological advancements in support of improved
mobility and safety on the nation's highways.
But advances in technology do not always lead to advances in trauma
care. There is a confusing array of emergency access numbers in various
states and localities. The explosion of wireless technology and the proliferation
of cell phones have diminished the safety net due to the lack of automatic
location notification, which is built into landwire 9-1-1 systems. There
is often little up-front medical consideration in technology development,
and financial resources for technology development are not always adequate.
There is a need for continual development, with benefit of technology
effectiveness studies. There is also a need for interoperability in communications
Automotive telematics systems and GPS in motor vehicles
will be used to locate crashes, monitor vital signs, and determine injury
severity. GPS will also provide real-time route navigation for ambulances.
Access technologies such as ACN and wireless E9-1-1 will
be fully developed.
Various technological innovations will be used to provide
services remotely. For example, video feeds will be used to provide telemedicine
to rural areas and will enable remote providers to perform operative
procedures. EMS providers will have personal communicators with direct
contact to medical providers. The Internet will be used to follow up
with patients and train health care professionals. Robotic and diagnostic
intervention will be conducted via telemedicine, and national teleconferencing
will be used for education, outreach, and policy development.
Monitoring devices will be used in a variety of settings,
including computer chip implants to monitor patients and the use of monitoring
devices in a patient's home, which would support injury prevention and
Computer chips will enable automatic transfer of sophisticated
crash information and will permit injury research databases to be utilized
to evaluate and improve auto design.
An artificial neural network will determine the most appropriate
site for patient care, given the extent of a patient's injury.
Access numbers will be consolidated to eliminate confusion
and streamline access nationwide.
Patient simulation technology will be used for provider
Medical input will be sought early in the design phase
of future technologies to ensure that these developments are coordinated
with the health care system and result in improved patient outcome.
Dedicated resources will be available for technology analysis.