Program predicts 911 callers' chances of survival

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Japanese researchers have developed a computer program which may be able to tell from an emergency call if the caller is about to die.

Kenji Ohshige and a team of researchers from the Yokohama City University School of Medicine in Japan assessed the new Yokohama computer-based triage emergency system for sox months, collecting information from over 60,000 emergency calls.

For each call, triage information was entered into the computer system, which then categorized patients according to the severity of their condition. The researchers then compared the computer-estimated threat of dying at the time of the emergency call with the actual patients' condition upon arrival at the hospital. They found the algorithm was right more than 80 percent of the time.

"A patient's life threat risk can be quantitatively expressed at the moment of the emergency call with a moderate level of accuracy," says  Ohshige. "The algorithm for estimating a patient's life threat risk should be improved further as more data are collected."

"As delayed response time reduces the number of patients who survive from sudden cardiac arrest priority dispatch of ambulances to patients in critical condition has become a matter of importance", he added.

The research is published in the open access journal BMC Emergency Medicine.