The team at Green Cross really enjoyed our recent look into flying Drones and its potential to change emergency care in the event of a cardiac arrest. So this month we have decided to get our Crystal ball and think about First Aid innovations that could be around the corner, but aren’t available quite yet.
As a caveat, we know that businesses around the world are constantly looking at new technology in the health space and so it could well be that some of these innovations are a lot closer to reality than we realise.
1. Super Bandages
Hemostatic bandages have been in use for a couple of decades, these form an external clot and prevent further blood loss. They are essentially an outer skin layer but do not promote wound healing and many patients with significant trauma remain at risk of further blood loss. For the sci-fi fans you will be interested to know that competing groups of scientists are currently developing an alternative that provides instant clotting, stopping blood loss. They also promote tissue regrowth and form a durable layer of protection. This has multiple applications for any trauma injury but could also replace the plaster.2
2. Reverse GPS to Emergency Services
Okay, this one probably raises a lot of privacy questions, and this could be a primary reason this is one least likely to happen. The technology already exists to be able to track a friend and their last known GPS whereabouts, there are literally hundreds of apps in the market today, there use though remains quite limited. Imagine if there was an opt-in application where you could allow emergency services to track your location in the event of a worst-case scenario.
This is something already being trialled in some mountain ranges where the ‘find my phone app’ was used to track mountaineers and also provided an opportunity to alert Mountaineers through an alert when they were expected to return to base. A GPS system utilising phones could make a big difference to emergency services attending an incident if privacy concerns are overcome.
3. Smart Watches
You track almost anything using a Smart watch these days, it started with just counting your steps, then it was calories. These days our smart watches can detect heart rate, measure body fat and even calculate if you have drunk enough water.
Surely, we are not too far away from a smart watch able to monitor our health in the event of a first aid emergency. Many First Aid conditions have detectable early characteristics such as Diabetes, Heart conditions and Epilepsy. Work is also being developed to identify early warnings for Strokes. The next innovation could well be a watch that can predict early warning signs and trigger alerts to the user, emergency contacts and even the emergency services.
In First Aid time matters and a device like this could make a massive difference in positive outcomes and recovery times.
4. Flying Drones
Okay, we covered this in a previous post. It is however, a firm favourite with our team. Being able to provide lifesaving First Aid equipment within minutes no matter where you are is a huge innovation and we look forward to seeing this work developed further.
5. Crowd Source First Aiders
In the event of a First Aid emergency you could be absolutely anywhere and it would be difficult to say who or what would be around us at anytime. In Scotland a lot of work has been developed to ensure a fast response for first responders, this has gone someway to reduce fatalities in the event of an out of hospital cardiac arrest. The next step forward would be an app that you could use or even could be used by emergency services that notifies the first person at the scene of any nearby equipment such as an AED or neraby First Aiders.
Imagine if you are in your office and received an alert on your phone that there is an emergency in the next building, they need a First Aider and an AED. Response times could be massively reduced and early intervention of First Aid and an AED can increase the chance of surviving by as much as 75%.
What do you think?
These are some suggestions for how tech could make a massive difference in the coming decade, what do you think about these? Do you have any innovative ideas that you would add to the list? Comment below or online.