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Effect of telemedicine for a prehospital suburban emergency medical service


The telemedicine system from ambulance to hospital is not popular in emergency medical service (EMS) systems in the world. In this study we investigated the effect of telemedicine from ambulance to hospital in a suburban EMS.


From June 2007 to October 2007, 2,934 patients enrolled in our study. The emergency patient information from the ambulance was transferred to the emergency medical information center and emergency center by the code-division multiple access (CDMA) transfer system. In the emergency medical information center, the patient data were stored and analyzed. The transferred data were the patient's ECG, blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse oxymetry, and body temperature. We analyzed the effect of the using the telemedicine system in our suburban EMS.


Of the 2,934 patients, 351 patients (12%) used the telemedicine system from ambulance to hospital (group 1). The other 2,583 patients (88%) did not use the telemedicine system (group 2). The rate of medical control was increased in group 1 (100%) compared with group 2 (0%). The severity of patients was more increased in group 1 than group 2. The time to treatment in prehospital was longer in group 2 (6.3 ± 5.3 min) than group 1 (5.6 ± 4.7 min). The transfer time was longer in group 1 (21 ± 10.4 min) than group 2 (15.7 ± 8.9 min). The rate of using the telemedicine was increased in paramedics (24.6%) compared with EMT-intermediate (9.6%) or EMT-basic (4.0%).


Our telemedicine system from ambulance to hospital is the effective system for medical control and prehospital care in a suburban EMS.


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Lee, K., Kim, Y., Hwang, S. et al. Effect of telemedicine for a prehospital suburban emergency medical service. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P341 (2008).

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