When dealing with traumatic injuries, such as those suffered in a car accident, minutes matter. The sooner the injuries can be correctly identified and prioritized, the sooner the correct treatment can be applied. This can lead to better outcomes for the patient.

A group of students from the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland have addressed this problem with an app for smartphones called RapidResponse. Their entry is one of the online finalists in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2015, in the World Citizenship Competition. The idea is that if users are injured or witness an injury, they can use the app to notify emergency responders. GPS can provide a specific location, and the camera can automatically take video and still photos that are forwarded to paramedics and healthcare professionals at the hospital. The result would be more information before the responders arrive on the scene, and better coordination between the ambulance crew and emergency room personnel.

It is possible to see how such a system could also automatically log data from a wearable Health Tech devices to provide information about heart rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure, and other vital signs. The more information that early responders have before they arrive, the more effective they will be in treating the patient quickly.