Teleconsultation in pre-hospital emergency medical services: real-time telemedical support in a prospective controlled simulation study

From Resuscitation:

Background: Teleconsultation from the scene of an emergency to an experienced physician including real-time transmission of monitoring, audio and visual information seems to be feasible.

In preparation for bringing such a system into practice within the research project “Med-on-@ix“, a simulation study has been conducted to investigate whether telemedical assistance (TMA) in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has an impact on compatibility to guidelines and timing.

Material and Methods: In a controlled simulation study 29 EMS teams (one EMS physician, two paramedics) ran through standardized scenarios (STEMI: ST-elevation myocardial infarction; MT: major trauma) on high-fidelity patient simulators with defined complications (treatable clearly following guidelines). Team assignments were randomized and each team had to complete one scenario with and another without TMA. Analysis was based on videotaped scenarios using pre-defined scoring items and measured time intervals for each scenario.

Conclusions: In simulated setting TMA was able to improve treatment and safety without decline in timing. Nevertheless, further research is necessary to optimize the system for medical, organizational and technical reasons prior to the evaluation of this system in routine EMS.

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