A New World of Constraints
Ethiopia offered a new challenge for our team. With new constraints and restrictions, we couldn’t just simply import a western EMS (Emergency Medical Services) system into Africa. Such challenges included:
Lack of unified signage
Along with limited street names, Ethiopia lacks a centralized mapping system, making it nearly impossible to describe the location of an emergency.
Power outages, road stoppages, street closures, and network outages often occur.
Lack of EMS experience
With no history of EMS services in Ethiopia, there aren’t many trained EMS professionals available. This means training from scratch.
Solving the problem
By merging both Systems Thinking and Design Thinking, we simplified and modified the emergency dispatching process in such a way that it can adapt itself to a fluctuating landscape
A holistic approach to problem solving where we consider all elements involved in our system to be interconnected, with their interactions giving rise to the collective behavior of our system
An approach to problem solving that starts from considering our users and how to create a better experience for them
To meet the constraints of our environment, we had to come up with a way to utilize each components' strength and mitigate weaknesses. To this end, we designed our system with three core focuses.
At the press of a button, the user is connected to the Emergency Call Centre, while their exact position is seamlessly sent in the background. Instead of wasting time trying to explain their location, the user is immediately receiving medical help over the phone, and can rest assured that the ambulance will be able to find them.
All our ambulances are equipped with state-of-the-art tablets, in constant connection with the cloud, and thus the ECC. Our paramedics receive the exact location of the user, and are shown the fastest way to get to the user. Key information collected by the dispatcher is also being shared in real-time to our paramedics. This ensures our paramedics are fully prepared to help the user as soon as they arrive on-site.
The dispatcher automatically receives the user’s location and can one-click dispatch an ambulance before they’ve even said hello! All while automatically passing on key details from the call in real-time to paramedics. This significantly decreases the amount of multitasking, allowing them to focus on what’s most important – helping the person in need.