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The Future Forces conference attracts attention of the international media and experts from all over the world.

In his lecture this morning, Prof. Pinny Halpern head of the emergency department in the Tel Aviv medical center talked about the use of technology to improve treatment of people in post-disaster situations. The doctors’ job, he said, is to find the injured in post-disaster chaos, without communication, and to classify then according to level of injury, thus deciding who to treat first.

But, he says, a lot of problems in those situations are regarding information:

  • Many people have information which they pass on using their cellular devices.
  • The information comes in in various ways and forms.
  • Important information is mixed up with irrelevant information.
  • The people using the information are under a lot of stress.
  • Due to the massive amount of information, there is a problem with managing it as it arrives.
  • The internet and the use of information coming from it is excellent and efficient but only when one can separate the important information from irrelevant details.
  • There are a lot of internet sites providing real-time information. In order to use that information there’s a need to make sure that the flow of information won’t stop due to electric or network malfunctions. Magen David Adom, for instance, knows how to create cellular WIFI networks in real-time via UAVs and other tools.

The technology is advancing in a direction that will allow a more convenient and efficient data management. The data with which doctors classify injured people will use, in the future, a biometric system among other things. There are also advanced systems being developed for recovery of injured in real-time. Another example is a NASA development: A system that can track pulse and breathing through 6 meters thick walls. But these systems are not perfect as they were developed by salesmen and not necessarily by a medical person who knows what is needed in the field.

The use of robotics in disaster management also takes a central place. Rescue services have already learned that there no way to manage a disaster without using robots. The medical treatment is also advancing with technology, like a special collar to hold the injured person’s neck in a technological way.

Halpern says that there is still a big gap between the product developers’ ideas and the needs of the rescue and treatment teams which are still not being fulfilled.

However, there is an extensive use of technology in search and rescue. MDA have vehicles with cameras which are installed on a flagpole which broadcast back to command. Real-time video is also an important tool for the disaster manager in the E.R. which allows proper preparations for the injured coming in. It can also offer advising the field team from inside the E.R., which is comprised of paramedics, and not always doctors. In the disaster in Nepal, for example, there was massive use of UAVs. Israel has a an injured management systems called “Adam” developed in Israel, which is the only country that makes use of such systems. On top of that, MDA has a GPS installed on ambulances and sensors on the medical true, as well as many cameras.

In disaster events there is great chaos of information regarding medical care. Technology set on the unique problems that rise in disaster medical care can aid and even resolve this chaos.

More updates from the Future Forces conference throughout the day.