The Hansin Expressway group has businesses involved in medical facility consulting, and there was discussion as to whether real-time video distribution could be provided from medical emergency sites to the medical facilities.
Using its video distribution technology cultivated through the maintenance and management of expressways, Hanshin Expressway Co., Ltd. developed a real-time medical emergency video distribution system called "Dr. Now". As a result, the real-time patient status and observation information can be relayed from the emergency site or ambulance to a medical facility using clear images.
The application at emergency sites was tested starting in December 2009 by the Yokosuka Kyosai Hospital (Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture) and Miura Fire Department (Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture) in Eastern Japan. The system received wide acclaim, and the hospital continues testing operations along with Kure Kyosai Hospital and Kure Fire Department in Kure City in Western Japan.
Medical emergencies fight against time where every second counts for the first responders, and it is vital to correctly assess the patient's injuries and health condition, relay that information to a physician, and take immediate action. Until now, relaying that important information relied solely on voice via telephone. Difficult-to-hear voice quality due to tense conditions and orders from physicians who cannot see actual conditions places a severe burden on first responders.
Dr. Now is expected to resolve these issues, and to move toward practical use, quick legislative preparations are required for medical practice using real-time video from emergency sites.