How Rugged Medical Tablets can Help First Responders Save Lives

How-rugged-medical-tablets-can-help-first-responders-save-livesRugged tablets are single-panel touchscreen computers that are smaller than a laptop but larger than a phone. While many are familiar with consumer grade tablets, first responders work in demanding environments that require more durable rugged tablets to help save lives in the field.

Tablets are increasingly being adopted by emergency services to enhance patient care in the field, and the benefits aren’t just for dedicated medical personnel. Law enforcement, fire, and other emergency staff can utilize medical rugged tablets to quickly obtain vital information and transmit it to a medical facility before arriving with the patient.

Tablets offer cellular data capabilities that laptops generally don’t have, and can be vital when time is of the essence and communication and data transfer could mean saving a life. In contrast to regular rugged tablets, medical tablets have a few added options that make caring for injured civilians or co-workers in the field more effective.

Emergency professionals and first responders can utilize medical rugged tablets to fill out and send documents, check symptoms and medication interactions, seek help for dealing with disabled individuals, and more. Note taking and transmission can be done via keyboard, a touch screen, or even by hand with a stylus for speed and efficiency, and notes shared in real time with medical professionals at the nearest hospital.

Advice can be given to stabilize a patient and prepare them for transport, even if the first responder isn’t a specialist. Any information required can be transmitted immediately, and guidance provided to ensure the best possible outcome. Tablets allow emergency responders to deal with situations they haven’t been trained for, or those they have trained for but have never encountered.

At the same time, key persons can be contacted, such as guardians or next of kin to alert them a loved one is on route and the destination. Information on an unconscious or unresponsive patient can be gleaned from a number of public sources, from public records and other sources, to ensure the most detailed picture as possible is created. This leads to better patient care and can head off mistakes by providing information about medical conditions or medications not immediately available.

Software options such as video-conferencing applications, file sharing services, and more can be instantly employed to provide support to emergency services and first responders. The wealth of information available can help save lives in critical situations.

Access to databases such as the  Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) can allow first responders to identify unknown substances via searching by smell, color, and human exposure symptoms. This is just one example of how medical tablets can allow first responders to save lives and prevent further injury or infection with powerful purpose-built tablets.

5 Reasons First Responders Need Rugged Tablets for Efficiency and Safety

5-Reasons-First-Responders-Need-Rugged-Tablets-for-Efficiency-and-SafetyPurpose built rugged tablets have become the favored mobile PC platform implemented by fire and rescue departments. Rugged tablets consistently rescue first responders from operational failures when lives are in the balance, even as other commercial options fall short. These devices provide a wide range of benefits:

Standardization & Flexibility

Standardizing on a single rugged tablet platform gives individuals flexibility in the office, vehicle, and field, and allows public safety customers to consolidate multiple computing and communications devices into a single solution that is mobile friendly and environment ready.

The ability of the tablet to “go anywhere, do anything” allows it to replace fragmented systems that previously depended on desktop PCs for the office, smartphones in the field, and separate GPS devices in vehicles. A rugged tablet can do the job of all three, plus provide RFID scanning ability, card reading, and even camera functionality

Mobility & Durability

Notebooks demand a flat surface and dual handed operation. Desktops are immobile. Smartphones can be weak on computing power and hard to manipulate in crisis situations. Tablets provide the bridge needed for first responders in a powerful, compact, mobile, and damage resistant package.

Integration & Compatibility

Rugged tablets are highly compatible with a range of applications critical to operational success for first responders working in police, fire, and medical capacity. Using these tablets, agencies can interface with computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and remote management systems (RMS) remotely from a single device.

Software agnosticism and data entry tool compatibility make tablets ideal for scheduling, pre-planning, GIS mapping, ePCR reporting and EMS billing functions across multiple departments. Special equipment like monitoring safety equipment for fire and rescue crews can also be connected so tablets can be used to track movement and oxygen or supply availability for units in hazardous areas.

Connectivity & Security

Uninterrupted connectivity is required to accurately and quickly dispatch first responders no matter how remote the location. GIS data access and information from critical reference materials can be made immediately available, including building schematics, incident history, pre-determined emergency response mapping, and SOP for high risk, complex operations. Also available are a wide range of effective, integrated security modules, such as CAC and magnetic stripe readers and barcode scanners.

Cost

Finally, ownership costs over the lifetime of the device is markedly lower for purpose built rugged tablets – especially when compared to any other option, rugged or not. Rugged tablets are built with the end user in mind, and created to stand up against harsh environments. This means less breakage and failure in the field, and a longer useful life for each tablet.

Rugged tablet solutions are ideal for first responder agencies, and can provide the resources needed to increase crew safety and situational awareness without compromise.