E-health as Support to Initial Responders in Rural Areas
Abstract: Sweden is a geographically large country, with several regions counted as rural areas. Hospitals and emergency care units can be up to one hour away, making emergency healthcare less available in time sensitive situations to some groups of people. To help decrease the waiting time, local people of certain professions, volunteers and similar, have created groups to help with the initial care. In this project these groups are called initial responders. The aim for the thesis was to develop a demonstrator to help these groups in possibly both medical decision support and to streamline resources sent out from emergency care units. Their needs, and the understanding of the process, were analysed with a literature review and interviews to investigate existing aids and what was missed. A medical support system was developed, using an interaction design process focused on user experience. The concept allows initial responders to systematically triage a patient and gather valuable information. This information can be transmitted to the emergency care unit to help in their prioritisation and decision of out-sent resources. Concluding, the medical support system may prove to be beneficial for initial responders in rural areas. Further development and more advanced testing will be needed for future use.
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