A student-teacher team at Humber College may have found a way to help paramedics provide better patient care in the future

Humber professors George Paravantes and Dennis Kappen collaborated with students Dhanushka Premarathna, Chloe Chung, and Hilary Leehane to design an augmented reality dashboard system for emergency vehicles.

In this instance, augmented reality is a system that uses touchscreens to display detailed information about the emergency and the patient before the paramedics arrive at scene.

This system is designed to receive audio or visual information the dispatcher receives and electronically uploads it to the dashboard, which automatically augments the emergency scenario and presents it to the paramedics through a variety of data animations. The dispatcher simply redirects the call information to the system in the ambulance.

Paravantes, described the potential capabilities of the augmented reality prototype.

“Currently we have designed a dashboard system that will display information from the site of the emergency, the person involved, and the 911 dispatcher to the paramedics while they are on route.”

According to Premarathna, a former design student of Paravantes, the system will communicate more information to paramedics faster than current methods so they can be better prepared for emergency situations.

“When the paramedic gets the call, instead of having to type (a query), the system will quickly self-identify and report any ailments or injuries at the accident site and send it to the hospital as well as the ambulance.”

The students had come to their professors about innovative ways to use technology in the automotive sector. Soon they decided to focus on emergency vehicles and work on a prototype began in January 2018.

In September 2018, the team was invited to present their prototype at the International Conference on Automotive User Interface in Toronto.

Kappen, a professor of industrial design at Humber, emphasized how the recognition at the conference was important for Humber. “We were the only college in all of Canada to be presenting at the conference. It just showcases the fact that as a college, we are able to support the student activity and that students are capable of these things.”

Kappen says the primary goal was for research purposes, but he’s hoping others will build from the prototype and advance the project.

The prototype is currently on display on the second floor of the NX building in the north campus.