Welcome to MapWolf.net, homepage of myself, Nigel Hanlon. Software developer, Systems Admin, husband, father and all around nice guy.
In medical emergencies, care given within the first 90 minutes has a major impact on patient survival. Emergency services aim to locate, stabilise and transport patients to specialist care within the so called "golden hour".
Most of Ireland's population live in major cities, where the majority of emergency calls are serviced by road ambulance with response times well within the guide time. However, in the West of Ireland transport takes significantly longer due to the road conditions and a dispersed population. To help overcome these issues, Ireland's first state run air ambulance service was launched in 2012. Its primary goal is to ensure that patients needing air transport are transferred to hospital as quickly and safely as possible.
Pre-existing software used for ambulance control was ill-equipped to deal with air rescue missions. Given the systems age, technical limitations and inflexibility (originally designed with road vehicles in mind), it was apparent a new tool was needed.
This tool took the form of a web based application known as Health Atlas Ireland AeroMedical. Taking advantage of the latest in mapping and GIS technologies, AeroMedical is able to quickly and accurately pin-point the location of patients anywhere in Ireland. Coordinates can be immediately generated for potential nearby rendezvous landing sites and the information shared in real time with all rescue parties involved.
The system integrates Ireland's "GeoDirectory" address database, overhead power line information provided by the Electricity Supply Board and the health service Service Directory which contains the locations of hospitals, police stations and airfields etc. The system allows helicopter landing sites to be added and recalled for future missions. The MapGenie service by Ordnance Survey Ireland (national mapping agency) provides road maps and detailed aerial photography of Ireland. Google maps are used as a backup and Street view integration provides a quick means of surveying road access for air rescue teams.
Dispatchers can locate patients via their Smart Phones. A unique web link is sent to a patient's phone via SMS. When the patient clicks the link, their mobile browser loads a small web page that triggers the Geo-Location of the device. Once found within an acceptable accuracy radius, the location is reported back and the controller can dispatch appropriately.
The Open Source tools allow for a range of flexibility that helped solve complex design and implementation issues. The technologies include PostgreSQL for data storage, Node JS and Socket.io for server side API and real-time communication, and the OpenLayers library in the front end for dataset display and map context.
Building on the successful deployment of the AeroMedical system, a similar tool was built to support the The HSE Emergency Management Office. The system would aid in co-ordination and communication when planning for, evaluating or responding to a major emergency.
The EZone module integrates powerful web mapping with various datasets including Ordnance Survey Map Genie, An Post GeoDirectory of 1.8 million addresses as well as GP/Hospital and emergency service locations. To aid in evacuation planning, incident areas can be identified using Plume analysis, Road Distance Spider or hand drawn regions. One the area is known, an address level evacuation list can be produced.
The Health Atlas Finder is a tool designed to aid HSE staff in finding resources in their area. It also can be used to highlight the needs of the local population via Census analysis and deprivation mapping.
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