GPS-based disaster victim tracking and tracing system demonstrated in
22 October 2006
Geneva, Switzerland. A new system designed to simplify the registration
and identification of casualties affected in a disaster situation was
demonstrated in Landstuhl in Germany.
The solution was designed as a tri-national approach by a consortium of
Prof. Luc Beaucourt (University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium ), Dr. Martin von
Bergh (Von Bergh Global Medical Consulting, Germany), Dr. Luc Taal
(University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands) and co-developed with
Cisco Systems, AeroScout and Intermec.
CIT Solutions and Orion Health also participated in the demonstration.
The disaster drill, simulating a bomb
attack on a bus with 20 casualties, was organised by Dr. Martin von Bergh
and took place at the Landstuhl Fire Department near Kaiserslautern in
Germany. The invited audience at the demonstration included officials from
the German Ministry of Internal Affairs, local government, federal and state
police and fire departments, and regional healthcare providers.
The solution demonstrated in Germany
uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to continuously determine the
patients’ position. At the disaster site, patients will be provided with
casualty cards which will be equipped with GPS micro trackers with a
GSM/GPRS transmitting unit. Once activated, this device transmits the exact
position to the central ViTTS database in real time.
The system allows for the rapid
exchange and automatic processing of data collected by emergency workers at
the scene of a disaster. The critical information is collected in real time
using Cisco's mobile and wireless network technology, and stored and made
available to the emergency workers via a web-based portal, thus eliminating
the loss of precious time and patient data.
The crisis management team can consult
the personal information contained in the database remotely from the crisis
centre and immediately implement the required measures. Hospitals and other
crisis support centres also have access to the medical information stored in
the database, thus allowing them to prepare for the arrival and subsequent
treatment of the disaster victims.
Two weeks earlier, a Belgian version of
the system was showcased at the University Hospital in Antwerp by Prof. Dr.
Luc Beaucourt (see
“Recent events around the world have
shown the need for a system that supports the way that authorities respond
in disaster situations, particularly in the tracking and identification of
victims,” said Mark Capill, European Regional Director of Orion Health.
“This system has been demonstrated in two European countries inside a month,
indicating that there is considerable interest in finding improved solutions
to support the work of first responders and state agencies when dealing with
The tri-national Consortium and Cisco
Systems developed the Victim Tracking and Tracing System in close
co-operation with other technology providers. CITS and Orion Health worked
together to develop the messaging and web portal infrastructure used in the
solution. AeroScout provides the active WiFi tags, Intermec the system's
wireless RFID reader. The core of the Victim Tracking and Tracing System is
the Cisco 3200 Series Wireless and Mobile Router, also called the Mobile
Access Router (MAR).