1.5 lbs. That’s how little weight you have to tote to carry LifeBot’s DREAMS (Disaster Relief and Emergency Medical Services) telemedicine software on the job—as installed on an HP Slate tablet PC. The integrated pair is now in preview mode under the name ‘DREAMS/LifeBot Slate.’ LifeBot is also selling its own configured version of the HP Slate today, for use by EMS workers in the field.
“The LifeBot Slate is an incredibly rugged, capable and reliable field computer,” says Roger Heath, LifeBot’s CEO. “Even without DREAMS software—which is still being transitioned from the military to the civilian market—the LifeBot Slate provides first responders with tremendous telemedicine capabilities with DREAMS.”
Despite its lightweight size, the LifeBot Slate packs a lot of performance. It is equipped with a 1.6GHz Pentium PC CPU, 2MB RAM and 64GB flash drive. The unit has an 8.9" WSVGA touchscreen, with the ability to be seen from a number of angles, rather than just head-on. In addition to its broadband wireless connectivity—which allows EMS users to connect directly to a receiving hospital, and confer/send data in real time—the LifeBot Slate has two video cameras. The first is a 3 MP camera on the outside of the unit, allowing an EMS provider to show the extent and nature of a patient’s injuries to remote locations using video or high-resolution digital stills. The second is a webcam mounted near the monitor screen. This allows the EMS provider to be seen live during teleconferences.
Worth noting: The LifeBot Slate is a Windows 7 machine. “This means it meets DoD and large institutions security standards,” Heath notes. “Although iPads can be found throughout the U.S. government, they are not always approved for secure applications. Windows 7 systems are, which is why we chose this operating system for the LifeBot Slate and DREAMS.”
With its ability to run DREAMS, the LifeBot Slate brings advanced portable telemedicine one step closer for civilian EMS. The DREAMS program is a $14 million advanced first responder system developed by the U.S. Army, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Texas A&M University. Despite its ‘military-first’ orientation, DREAMS has been riding along with ambulances in Texas’ Liberty and Bryan counties for the past six years.
“The DREAMS team is developing a backpack version of DREAMS that can be used on the battlefield,” says Heath. “This will provide our warfighters with the best possible care while in theater. It will vastly enhance how much medics can do for injured soldiers, because they will be able to consult with specialists in real-time—and the specialists will see the injuries for themselves.”
So when will the U.S. civilian EMS market get to install DREAMS on their LifeBot Slates? “On our current timetable, we will make DREAMS available to civilian EMS within 3–5 months,” says Heath.
When this happens, ambulances fitted with this technology will be able to share high-quality video with specialists at receiving hospitals, plus any other medical facilities whose analysis could help. The system’s AVL/GPS technology will allow dispatch to more accurately assess hospital arrival times, and make it simpler to send extra vehicles and helicopters to the scene. In the meantime, it is possible for EMS agencies to acquire and begin using LifeBot Slates today, upgrading them to add DREAMS when the software becomes available. For more, see www.lifebot.us.com.