Photo Credit: Magen David Adom
MDA's consumer emergency app.

Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s paramedic service, last week was presented with an award for its innovative use of geographic information system (GIS) technology, which MDA uses as the foundation for its world-renowned computer-assisted ambulance dispatch system.

The award was announced by Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri, one of the world’s largest providers of GIS technology, at the company’s annual users conference in San Diego. The company cited MDA among more than 100,000 companies and organizations that use GIS systems.

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“The GIS technology touches virtually every aspect of our work and is a key reason we can reach the scene of a medical emergency faster than any other EMS organization in Israel,” said Ido Rosenblat, chief information officer for MDA.

MDA’s national operation center. / Magen David Adom

On average, MDA ambulances or first responders get to medical emergencies before other emergency medical services more than 91% of the time, according to a time analysis the organization conducted earlier this year.

MDA has also used this technology to create dispatch systems for other emergency organizations, including Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service, the Philippines Red Cross, and Hatzalah South Florida in the US.

“MDA’s goal is to have the best-trained and best-equipped EMTs and paramedics in the world and provide them with the best technology to reach the scene more quickly and better informed about the emergency,” Rosenblat said. “If you can do that, you’re going to have an impact on patient outcomes and save even more lives.”

Magen David Adom uses Esri technology to provide the GIS data that underpins MDA’s homegrown dispatch system, its consumer emergency app, and the first responder app.

The technology is central to Israel’s national medical emergency dispatch system, which is operated by MDA and is embedded in apps that reside on the smartphones of about 40,000 EMTs and first responders nationwide. The technology enables MDA to instantly geolocate ambulances in medical emergencies and dispatch the 10 nearest first responders to the scene.

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