NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Trek Medics International, a New York-based organization that develops software for emergency response systems in low- and middle-income countries, released a new update to their mobile phone-based emergency dispatching platform, Beacon, to better serve women in labor. Using Beacon, expectant mothers with obstetrical emergencies will be able to call or text dispatchers and quickly request a trained midwife with access to transportation to assist the delivery.
First developed in 2012, Beacon was designed for resource-limited communities that can't afford or don't need advanced "9-1-1" technologies. Beacon enables local communities to leverage available resources and improve access to critical emergency services by relaying alerts from the scene of an emergency to trained responders throughout the community. The customizable text messages allow the nearest available emergency care providers to quickly locate patients, treat them, and transport to local hospitals.
"When we first launched in the Dominican Republic, we expected the platform would be used mostly to respond to road traffic incidents, but we've seen a steady demand from women in labor and for other obstetrical complications since the outset," says founder/executive director Jason Friesen. "Now we've refined the software so that it's more effective in addressing the so-called 'three delays' of maternal and child health."
According to a 2014 study in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 74% of maternal deaths could be prevented if expectant mothers received proper emergency obstetric care. The new Beacon update improves interactions between both supply- and demand-side interventions, making it easier for women in childbirth to call and find trained help and transport.
Even in communities where transportation isn't easily accessible, Trek Medics says that the open source software can be used to alert and coordinate nearby midwives to ensure that trained providers will still assist home delivery with minimal delay. Added features in the update include a new interface and improved functionality for interfacility transport and referral networks in order to improve coordination between healthcare facilities.
Beacon is currently used as a dispatching solution for active field programs in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. Together, these programs are providing 24-7 EMS coverage to over 200,000 people, and have responded to nearly 500 incidents since their launch.
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SOURCE Trek Medics International