Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

Ambulances in UAE will turn red traffic lights to green under congestion-cutting scheme

Response vehicles to be fitted with controls that can change traffic lights to cut through congestion

Ambulance drivers are to be given the ability to turn red lights to green under a new project announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Courtesy: National Ambulance    
Ambulance drivers are to be given the ability to turn red lights to green under a new project announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Courtesy: National Ambulance    

Congestion-busting ambulances will be able to turn traffic lights from red to green in an instant as part of an ambitious plan to improve emergency response times.

Emergency vehicles are to be fitted with 'traffic-light' alarms that will automatically change signals as they approach.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention project was launched on the sidelines of the Arab Health conference on Tuesday.

Rapid-response vehicles will be connected to hospital emergency departments. They will provide doctors with the latest patient information in real time, to help medics prepare for patients' arrival in clinic.

Ambulances will be equipped with a traffic signal alarm system to turn the signal to green

Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi

Ambulance teams will also have immediate access to patient records, while handlers can change traffic signals to green to speed up their journey.

“Callers who request the service can locate the nearest ambulance through a GPS system and select the best route to reach the hospital,” said Dr Kalthoum Al Baloushi, director of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s hospitals administration.

“Ambulances will be equipped with a traffic signal alarm system to turn the signal to green once the ambulance is approaching.”

Ambulances are already allowed to run red lights without fear of prosecution when on call.

However, cutting through a line of traffic can be difficult and time-consuming when cars are stationary at a red light.

The ministry also launched an artificial intelligence-powered preventive healthcare platform during the conference.

The Enayati initiative will monitor health indicators and predict any possible health risks that may put patients’ lives at risk.

It includes a set of connected applications and devices linked through sensors to the body of cardiac patients or those suffering from health symptoms or genetic diseases.

Sensors monitor health signs and send alerts to healthcare providers when any serious imbalance occurs.

The ministry said new wearable devices will soon be available to help doctors monitor people with chronic health conditions to ensure they are up to date with the latest care options available to them.

Medics can monitor changes to any vital signs that could indicate a sudden health risk.

Patients must log in to the platform on a daily basis to monitor their health condition.

Data is stored securely in the ministry's database and is to be taken into consideration when formulating health initiatives, strategies and drawing up future health policies.

“In cases of life-threatening risk, wearable devices like these bracelets evaluate the patient’s health indicators every second,” said Ali Alajmi, director of the ministry’s health information systems department.

“This automatically sends results to specialists, without having to contact paramedics for help.

“The bracelet shows vital health indicators and identifies the patient’s location in case the medical team needs to rush to help the patient.”

Updated: January 28, 2020 04:47 PM

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