911+ Enhanced Emergency Communications

Inspiration

911 calls are just phone calls, but our devices are way more capable than just that. They have a GPS, voice translation, and the power of that internet. How is it that we can track the domino's pizza on our phone but we can’t track the ambulance that is coming to save our lives? Imagine if we could utilize all the technology we have today to aid both first responders and callers. Introducing 911 plus enhancing emergency communication with internet technologies to enable video calls, accurate location tracking, faster information sharing, and more.

What it does

911+ User Information Database

Faster User Information Sharing Instantaneously, 911+ call-takers can have rich digital data at their fingertips personalized to the caller. Callers can pre-authorize their smartphones to deliver their medical histories to dispatch, which can then forward relevant information to the EMS responders. This way, patients dependent on devices like heart monitors or ventilators can locate and request such resources alongside the 911 call they place.

911+ Video Call

Video call and SMS notification A video call allows dispatchers to more rapidly and accurately assess the caller’s condition and surroundings. For example, they may aid in diagnosing the onset of a stroke (by seeing a drooping face) or spot potential sources of danger in the background. An image is worth a thousand words. And in settings where every minute counts, every word does as well. On the other hand for callers, the addition of a human presence could help further reassure them in their time of crisis. Callers can also receive rich visual instruction and real-time feedback for performing possibly life-saving actions such as doing CPR correctly. 911+ can also use Twilio’s SMS service to immediately notify emergency and family contacts once a call is placed.

911+ Location Tracking

More accurate location tracking Another major feature of 911+ is our more accurate location tracking and user-friendly map. According to Brian Dale, the director of International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) “The biggest frustration we have is time spent identifying where a caller is” Currently over 80% of all 911 calls are made on cell phones which technology does not allow pinpoint accuracy. Using GPS and users’ internet protocol address 911+ not only allows call-takers and on-the-ground EMS personnel to track the caller’s location with a much higher degree of accuracy in real-time but also gives users the ability to follow their progress as they approach the user’s location. When emergency service personnel are close enough, 911+ will use BLE to ring callers’ phones and help further lower discovery time.

911+ Tech Stack

How we built it

Our backend is implemented with a server written in Flask integrated with the Cockroach Cloud database and connected to the frontend using Axios. By using the Cockroachdb cloud-based database, 911+ will be able to ensure resiliency, reliability, and speed around the globe.

Our app uses Twilio’s Programmable Video service to facilitate high-quality, reliable video streaming in secure P2P rooms. By further integrating Twilio’s programmable voice transcription feature, 911plus will be able to provide seamless accurate live transcription to dispatchers In addition, our app also uses Twilio’s SMS service to immediately notify emergency and family contacts once a call is placed.

To optimize location-tracking, we utilized the 3d technology from mapbox gl api to optimize location tracking, making it not only more visually appealing, but also easier for the responder to recognize the near surroundings to locate the caller faster.

Challenges we ran into

We initially spent the majority of our time working on our individual areas. At some points during the hackathon, it seemed that the frontend and backend were slightly heading off in different directions in terms of aligning the storing and retrieving the user data process. However, we were able to sync more often after that and streamlined our design so that we were able to connect the backend with the frontend smoothly. It was also our first time working with video calling tools, hence we spent some time implementing and optimizing the feature, however, we were able to achieve the desired result in the end.

Accomplishments that we're proud of/ What we learned

Our team is very proud of our work hoping that this is a step in addressing the gap between 911 services and those who seek immediate emergency assistance. In under 36 hours, we were able to build a fully functional and deployed web application that has multiple features implemented and all centralized in one platform that is easy to use for both the caller and responder. In terms of skills, we are especially proud of the new technologies that we were able to pick up in such a short amount of time, such as the Mapbox-gl API and the Cockroach DB. We went through many trials and errors, including long debugging sessions, but everything paid off the moment we were able to connect our frontend and backend and see our initial idea come to life.

What's next for Nine One One plus

Monitoring high-danger areas, such as chemical plants or dams, using sensors, to send out early warnings to emergency services in a threat scenario. 911+ could integrate sensors into vehicles to automatically alert 911 dispatchers and provide crash data in the event of an accident. Finally, 911+ can also be integrated with wearable devices to provide real-time patient vitals.

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