New technology automatically notifies MDA of car accidents that require medical help

Posted By : Matt Sloan February 15, 2019

Kiryat Ono, Israel (February 14, 2019) — Beginning this month, late-model cars in Israel have started to autonomously call for ambulances when the driver has been involved in an accident, reporting not only the exact location of the crash, but the specifics of the drivers’ and passengers’ injuries.

This has not only dramatically reduced response times, according to Ido Rosenblat, chief information officer for Magen David Adom, Israel’s national emergency medical service, but also enabled MDA to respond with the appropriate equipment and protocol for the injuries the driver and passengers have sustained.

“This is particularly crucial in serious accidents, where a driver is rendered unconscious, and is otherwise unable to seek medical assistance,” Rosenblat said. “With the information the system now provides us, we can make immediate assessments about what kind of response we need to activate — whether it’s dispatching a Basic Life Support ambulance for broken bones and non-lethal injuries, a Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance for potentially life-threatening injuries, or even one of our Medevac helicopters for instances when the hospital is far away or when the nearest hospital is ill-equipped to address the injuries the driver is projected to have sustained.”

The initiative is a joint venture between MDGo, an Israeli tech startup, and Magen David Adom, considered among the most technologically advanced EMS organizations in the world. The system uses sensors already installed in most new car models and designed for a variety of purposes, including locating cars when they’re stolen. However, by repurposing the sensors, MDGo developed a system that can determine the nature of an accident (whether it involved front, rear, or side impact), whether the car rolled in the collision, the speed and severity of the impact, and, using a series of sophisticated algorithms based on the impact, the nature and extent of people’s injuries.

In tests conducted with about 250,000 vehicles in Israel since June, the MDGo system was 100 percent accurate in reporting car accidents and 92 percent accurate in projecting the injuries sustained compared to field assessments made by arriving Magen David Adom EMTs.

The time savings is crucial, both MDA and MDGo officials say. In the chaotic aftermath of an accident, it takes an average of five minutes before someone — whether it’s someone involved in the crash or a witness — even calls for an ambulance. And that’s during a daytime accident. At night, it takes even longer, more than seven minutes. With the MDGo system, Magen David Adom is now alerted in seconds.

“In Israel, first responders typically arrive in about five minutes,” Rosenblat said. “So with this system, help will be at the scene in the time when, previously, people would only first be calling for help.”

Given the ramifications of delayed treatment, especially when life-threatening injuries such as brain bleeds are involved, MDGo estimates non-pedestrian auto fatalities can be reduced by 44 percent by this technology.

“MDGo does more than bring first responders to the scene more quickly,” said Itay Bengad, MDGo’s co-founder and CEO. “Based on the vehicular impact, it alerts arriving EMTs and the hospital to injuries the patient may have sustained, but which may not be immediately apparent. This enables earlier interventions and prevents potentially fatal complications that can result from leaving undetected injuries unaddressed for hours — or even days.”

The collaboration between Magen David Adom and MDGo was natural, the two organizations say. Magen David Adom developed in-house what’s perhaps the most sophisticated ambulance dispatch technology in the world. It’s also created a cutting-edge consumer medical emergency app for Israelis and apps that enable doctors at emergency rooms to get preliminary data on patients while the patients are still en route to the hospital in the ambulance. Bengad himself is a physician who still does hospital shifts in Tel Aviv.

“Because we’ve developed almost all our apps ourselves, we’ve become an incubator for startups,” said Rosenblat. “The result is that we’re working to save lives together.”




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