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Mobile videoconferencing for enhanced emergency medical communication – a shot in the dark or a walk in the park?

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Story and images by 7thSpace Interactive

Videoconferencing on mobile phones may enhance communication, but knowledge on its quality in various situations is needed before it can be used in medical emergencies. Mobile phones automatically activate loudspeaker functionality during videoconferencing, making calls particularly vulnerable to background noise.

The aim of this study was to investigate if videoconferencing can be used between lay bystanders and Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) operators for initial emergency calls during medical emergencies, under suboptimal sound and light conditions.

Methods: Videoconferencing was tested between 90 volunteers and an emergency medical dispatcher in a standardized scenario of a medical emergency. Three different environments were used for the trials: indoors with moderate background noise, outdoors with daylight and much background noise, and outdoors during nighttime with little background noise.