Monday, March 14, 2016

Predictive software gets ambulances to you faster

Predictive software gets ambulances to you faster
The Ambulance department of Albuquerque, New Mexico is using extremely advanced predicative software to strategically place Ambulance units around the city. After gathering over five years of data, the department was able to create a heat map that displays predicted activity that could require an ambulance. The department places “more than 60 ambulances” based of this collect data heat map. This blog will critically discuss improved emergency response time, the reactions from emergency responders to this technology, and the overall impact technological advancements are having on this medical field.  Department Chief Kurt Krumperman is well aware of the importance of this technology. “Response time matters…it makes a difference.” The Ambulance department has recorded an increased response time and this simply means life-saving equipment and technologies are reaching those in need faster. In the medical world, seconds are crucial. The difference between life and death could be seconds, and with the response time continually being shortened by new technologies, the patient can be more optimistic. Although Albuquerque is seeing positive results, other paramedics are concerned with this technology. In conversation with NBC News interviews, we learned what some paramedics truly believe. “At the end of the day, when you look at this system, it's a roll of the dice” says Paramedic Union President Walt Stevens. This inconsistency worried first responders because it is never certain. Statistically speaking, the Optima technology works, but those who don’t trust the technology or just like operating “old fashioned” are finding it difficult to transition. At the end of the day, it is the statistics that matter, and for the ambulance department of Albuquerque, New Mexico the statistics are promising. The department has seen units get to emergencies faster and this is saving lives. The software is enabling the health care emergency response field to serve society as efficiently and effectively possible. The department is not the only one to benefit, society and the public’s safety also benefit greatly. I believe the article overlooked what data is actually collected to create this predictive software. It also failed to include statistical evidence but this could be primarily due to its only recent inclusion into the department. Lastly, I believe the article could have mentioned the cost effects such a transition into a predictive operation could have on the department. When making the decision to adopt this technology, other ambulance departments should be aware of what the transition will cost and thus determine if it is necessary and affordable.
-Michael Weston

Swanson, Kristen. "Predictive Software Gets Ambulances to You Faster." KOAT. KOAT, 8 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

"Paramedics Unhappy with Call "prediction" Software." NBC, 29 June 2010. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.


  1. I think this new predictive software that gets ambulances to people faster is a great idea. I think when an emergency strikes, the amount of time before the patient receives medical attention is essential. It is a great idea to try to cut this time down, leading to better results for patients because of faster medical attention. I am curious to know if the data that was collected for this software is just based off the amount of calls that are received from certain areas, and based on that number more ambulances are required near that area. Also I wonder if the solution to this could just be to have more ambulances that are available for call constantly around so they don’t have to waste time getting people to the ambulances to go get the patient. The article did not mention how much this software costs, as well as if they are looking to put it in all systems that are transferred to ambulances. I wonder since this new technology puts more ambulances in places that are at higher change of having to call an ambulance, if it affects the amount of time it takes for ambulances to get to the areas that are farther away from the highly populated locations? I think while this new technology is a good idea and could be used to help patients get medical treatment faster, which is the goal, the article failed to mention some key facts about the software. I think that a lot of incidents require instant medical attention that is not received, but I think another solution to this could just be to have people waiting in the ambulances, driving around so they do not waste the time getting to the ambulance to go pick the person up.

  2. Hi Michael,
    The advanced predictive software that city of Albuquerque is using is a good idea in order to improve response rates. Michael mentioned how the ambulance department is using a map that points out places that would be in high risk and in need of ambulance assistance. For example places that at the time have high activity such as concerts, sports games, school events, and any event many people are in attendance. No one can predict that something bad will happen but this department plans for the worst. By doing this they are able respond to calls much faster. In cases where seconds are even crucial in a life or death situation ambulances response rate are very important. People lives depend it and this system will benefit emergency situations. Michael states that the article mentions how it is improving the medical field, response rates, and emergency reactions. But, for something that has been in effect for five years now there should be statistics that can prove these accusations. It is easy to say it is improving the overall department but to show how much it has improved is important for outsides like ourselves to understand. The systems is stated to be very costly so for other departments to move forward with it should know how effective it is and see if it is worth it. It is a very good idea and seems to be improving the experience for people receiving medical attention. There is a lot more that should have mentioned in the article but they do cover the idea itself and how it is benefiting the people of this city.

  3. Personally, I think using predictive software to get ambulances to emergencies faster is a great idea. In the medical field, time is crucial. When an emergency occurs, it is the job of the ambulance driver to arrive to the scene as soon as physically possible. That is why if this technology can cut down the time it takes for the paramedics to get to someone who needs help, it would be a significant benefit.

    It was mentioned that some paramedics are concerned with this technology because it can never be certain. This being said, I can definitely understand why some paramedics are worried about trying something different and relying on technology. However, I do think using this technology will result in quicker arrival times for ambulances. Even if some paramedics do not trust the technology now, I believe they will warm up to it once positive results have been proven. In addition, technology is always improving. This is just the first step of using predictive technology to improve the efficiency of ambulances. As paramedics continue to use this technology and the technology improves, it will make a huge difference all around the world and save many lives.

    One issue that is particularly concerning is that if a bunch of ambulances are surrounding a location that is predicted to need paramedics, will this length the time it would take them to get to someone who needed help who wasn’t in that predicted danger area? Perhaps if many ambulances are surrounded near a concert where they expect injuries, they will be farther away from another part of the city where someone else could very well need help.

    Another issue with this technology is definitely the costs. How much does it cost to implement this technology? Does this increase gas costs for the ambulance trucks that are packed with paramedics ready to help someone in the predicted area? And where exactly is the money going to come from to pay for this? Taxes from the citizens? Are they all on board to pay for this? This being said, I definitely think there are some financial issues that were not discussed which could be a huge problem.

    However, even though there are some issues and questions associated with this new technology, I still do believe this is a positive thing. Even though this technology is new and just starting to be effective, I truly believe it can be expanded and improved to make a difference in the future. Because time is such a crucial element when someone is injured, it is important for technology like this and other technologies in this field to continue to be developed in order to save lives and improve health.


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