Location interoperability services for medical emergency operations during disasters

Remko van der Togt, Euro Beinat, Sisi Zlatanova, Henk J. Scholten

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The organizational structure that deals with the Response phase in disaster and risk management is based on a strong co-operation between several organizations, such as the police, fire departments, the local government and the health services1 The size of the organization depends largely upon the scale of the disaster itself. Van Dijke 2003 identifies 31 processes, that concern information flows and coordination of forces, that are relevant in these cases. This paper concentrates on the information process at the first aid in hospitals, which is part of ‘somatic health care’. Research has been conducted on the information problems during emergency operations at first aid departments in Italy and The Netherlands. The results identify location information (location of patients, equipment, physicians and/or relatives, and so on) as a critical factor for improve quality and coordination of health services. In most cases the location has to be determined indoors, where the most common global 3D positioning (based on GPS) is not available. It is still a challenge to obtain accurate positions indoors. In general terms, one can distinguish between two broad classes of location technology: global (telecommunications) and local (WiFi, Bluetooth) network approaches, based on absolute (providing coordinates) or relative (providing speed and direction of movement) positioning. Currently, the most commonly used approaches for indoor positioning are based on WiFi and RFID. This paper presents a system for indoor positioning and LBS to support hospital teams in emergency management. The paper discusses current information problems, investigates the required functionality of a system for hospital services, and the added value of indoor location technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeo-information for Disaster Management
EditorsPeter van Oosterom, Siyka Zlatanova, Elfriede M. Fendel
Place of PublicationBerlin Heidelberg
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783540274681
ISBN (Print)9783540249887
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event1st International Symposium on Geo-information for Disaster Management, Gi4DM 2005 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Mar 200523 Mar 2005


Conference1st International Symposium on Geo-information for Disaster Management, Gi4DM 2005


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