The proposed DIORAMA-II system supports real-time assessment of a disaster site in terms of the victims'location and severity of injuries as well as the location of rescue personnel and resources. This application builds on a successfully completed R21 exploratory grant. The primary measurable outcomes of this system are: significant reduction in evacuation time of victims from the disaster site (average of 50% reduction in evacuation time compared to paper triage systems), 100% evacuation completeness of all triaged victims, and 100% geographical identification/verification of all triaged victims upon first responder triage. The first two outcomes correlate directly to reduced victims'mortality and the third is currently an unmet need in the disaster response discipline. The secondary outcomes are: enable the rescue personnel to treat the most critically injured victims first, improved response and management of medical rescue operations by assigning resources to the zones in most need, provision of seamless documentation of the rescue operations, enable post forensic analysis of the incident and rescue operations, provides data valuable to EMT training purposes, enable the hospitals to prepare for the arrival of patients, thus improving hospitals'utilization. This proposal is a joint collaboration between the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with an internationally team of leaders with recognized expertise in systems, software and hardware, Boston EMS which will provide the subject matter expertise and participate in our proposed trials, consultants such as the Director of the Division of Disaster Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a faculty member of Harvard Medical School, Medical Director of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts State EMS Medical Director, and advisory board which includes chief of Boston EMS that leads a 400-person department, president of the International Association of EMS Chiefs , the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Emergency Medical Services and also editorial director for all Elsevier Public Safety publications, former FEMA's Director of the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. We are confident that with the help of this internationally and nationally recognized team of leaders, innovative technology and very encouraging preliminary results obtained during the R21, we have very high chances of successfully completing these aims. This team of professionals will also advocate for the DIORAMA-II system to become a standard tool for disaster management.
The proposed research is relevant to public health in being a unique tool that incorporates a most sophisticated use of modern information technology which can be of enormous help to those responsible for disaster management. Mitigating the impact of such incidents (e.g. flooding, terrorist attacks) is heavily dependent on adequate and timely flow of information and knowledge and the appropriate use of modern information technology to be able to, in real-time, seamlessly locate and track victims, rescue personnel and resources. This proposed system addresses the NIH mission to determine how best to utilize information technology in a disaster situation which poses a number of problems for which relevant informatics research is necessary.