Organised by TNHSP and IIT Madras, The Emergency Services Hackathon brings you the opportunity to innovate and have a positive impact on the current structure of the 108 Emergency Services in Tamil Nadu .
In case of any emergency, rapid intervention is critical in determining the outcome. The emergency service personnel have the crucial responsibility of bringing the response time to as minimal as possible. But, due to the limited information an emergency personnel can gather over phone the response times are high. Most of the times, it is very hard to locate the area where emergency situation has arised, just from the descriptions that are provided over call. The person who is calling 108 might be new to the place and might not be able to describe the address accurately.
Innovations in technology can play an integral part in achieving this goal. The aim of this hackathon is to come up with solutions that leverage the capabilities of a smart phone and integrate them with the backend infrastructure at the Call-Centre to make the flow of information fast and seamless thereby greatly increasing the efficiency.
The 108 Emergency Ambulance Service is a 24x7 service, which anyone can avail by dialling the number 108 on their phone during the case of any emergency. It could be either a medical emergency, a fire emergency, or a crime being committed. The number 108 is a toll-free number and can be dialed from any phone, be it a mobile phone or a landline, at the time of an emergency, without any prefix or suffix.
It is currently operational in 20 states (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh) and two Union Territories (Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.)
Initially, the person who receives the call at Emergency Response Centre (ERC) takes down the nature of emergency and the location of the caller. Depending on the nature of the call, either an ambulance, a fire engine, or a police assistance is sent. This is done through the Emergency Response Centre.
The centralized Emergency Response Centre helps coordinate between the Despatch Officer, Emergency Response Centre Physician and the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for getting guidance during transit. Coordination with police and fire department is also facilitated through the Emergency Response Centre. The entire service is free for any citizen.
The theme / problem statement for this hackathon is to develop applications that will help 108 Emergency Services to locate the caller, and dispatch help as quickly as possible.
When an emergency is reported through 108, the call taker gathers the needed basic information and dispatches appropriate services. Basic information obtained includes:
But, what happens most of the times is that the person who is calling 108 will be under trauma due to the emergency situation they may be in and might not be able to explain these details clearly, especially the location. Another common issue is that the person does not know their exact location. They might be new to the place, might be on a highway, there might not even be a visible landmark to nearby. How can the centralized Emergency Response Centre get exact location of the caller?
This will make it difficult for the dispatcher to assess the situation and send help as quickly as possible.
Even after the dispatcher figure out where the location is, they have to pass the information on to the nearest ambulance / help center. Even though ambulance centers are available at many places, it is crucial to choose the nearest available one. This is done manually now, by looking at a list of base stations. Each minute spent in deciding where to dispatch the call might cost lives. There might be an ambulance on road nearby, not at the base station, but the call center might not be aware of it. How can the centralized Emergency Response Centre get exact location of all ambulances and choose the right one to send to the emergency location?
When an ambulance gets a call, they will only know the location provided by the caller, passed on by the call center. With this limited information, ambulance driver needs to find where the caller is exactly as quickly as possible. Even though they have the approximate location, there might be traffic on the road and they might not be aware of a faster alternate route. How can the ambulance driver get exact location of the emergency and reach there in the minimum amount of time?
As for the caller, after they have made the call and got confirmation that help is going to arrive, they have no further idea of when help is going to come. This could further complicate situtaions. How can the caller know when help is going to arrive?
The ultimate aim of this hackathon is to use smartphone and internet based technologies to provide realistic solution to the questions mentioned above (and beyond). For e.g. if there is an app that can send the exact GPS coordinates of the caller to the Emergency Response Centre, it will become very easy to identify the place and quickly send the nearest ambulance. If the exact location of ambulances are also known, the system could calculate the time required by each of them to reach the destination and allocate the optimal one, which would reach in the shortest amount of time. It will be easy for the call center personnel to identify and make sense of everything if all these details are shown on a realtime map on screen. If the ambulance driver has something like Google Maps, he could navigate to the exact location without any trouble.
These are the kind of solutions we are looking for. Remember, the soultions has to be realistic and has to be implemented. The winner's solutions could be directly adopted by the 108 Emergency Services. So, this would be a great opportunity to have an impact on millions of lives.
Collecting data and developing algorithms for analytics on the data collected is also encouraged. Any other aspect of innovation above and beyond the aforementioned, in the theme of emergency services are appreciated.
* The word "ambulance" used in this context could be any other emergency response vehicle
Register your team and add team member details (1 to 3 members). Submit your ideas for the app, especially indicating how you are going to approach the problem and what are the features that your app will be having.
There will be an open Google Hangout at 9:00 pm on Nov. 8th in which common queries will be discussed. This discussion will also shed light on to what the participants are not supposed to build, based on the proposal submissions recieved.
All teams will be asked to submit their work in progress (WIP). The teams will be evaluated based on the Proposal submission and WIP submission and a shortlist for finalists will be made. The WIP may include all parts of the solution the team is working on, including source code.
Shortlist of Top 20 final participants who will be presenting at IIT Madras will be released. Teams should further work and improve their solution for the finals.
Shortisted participants will be invited to IIT Madras to showcase their apps and the working in front of an expert judging panel. Results will be announced on the same day itself. PS: The date is tentative. The event will happen in between Dec 10th and 20th.
Center For Innovation,
IIT Madras, Chennai 600036