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The Clinical Application of Mobile Technology to Disaster Medicine

  • Timothy Case (a1), Cecily Morrison (a2) and Alain Vuylsteke (a3)

Mobile health care technology (mHealth) has the potential to improve communication and clinical information management in disasters. This study reviews the literature on health care and computing published in the past five years to determine the types and efficacy of mobile applications available to disaster medicine, along with lessons learned.

Five types of applications are identified: (1) disaster scene management; (2) remote monitoring of casualties; (3) medical image transmission (teleradiology); (4) decision support applications; and (5) field hospital information technology (IT) systems. Most projects have not yet reached the deployment stage, but evaluation exercises show that mHealth should allow faster processing and transport of patients, improved accuracy of triage and better monitoring of unattended patients at a disaster scene. Deployments of teleradiology and field hospital IT systems to disaster zones suggest that mHealth can improve resource allocation and patient care. The key problems include suitability of equipment for use in disaster zones and providing sufficient training to ensure staff familiarity with complex equipment. Future research should focus on providing unbiased observations of the use of mHealth in disaster medicine.

Case T , Morrison C , Vuylsteke A . The Clinical Application of Mobile Technology to Disaster Medicine. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(5):1-9.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Timothy Case, MA, MPhil, MBBChir University of Cambridge - Hughes Hall Wollaston Road Cambridge CB1 2EW UK E-mail
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Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
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