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How Crowdsourced Traffic Data Could Potentially Save Lives

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How Crowdsourced Traffic Data Could Potentially Save Lives

A DZone MVB discusses recent research that shows real-time data from GPS applications can help to dispatch EMS services faster.

· Big Data Zone ·
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The rise of platforms such as Waze has allowed traffic management technologies to take advantage of the large volume of data generated by users across towns and cities. Whilst this data is largely used to reduce traffic congestion, a recent study from the University of California, Irvine suggests it could also help emergency teams get to traffic incidents faster.

The study found that data from Waze reveals evidence of a road traffic accident some two minutes and 41 seconds before the accidents are officially reported to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), with these minutes potentially vital in the effort to save lives.

"According to our research, it takes emergency medical service (EMS) units an average of seven to 14 minutes to arrive on scene after a 911 call," the authors explain. "Crowdsourced traffic data might help to cut that time by as much as 60 percent."

Speedy Reporting

The research found that data collected through Google's Waze platform was easily comparable in terms of accuracy with conventionally reported data, but the cost and speed of reporting saw considerable improvements.

The team think that such crowdsourced data can have a number of clear use cases in supporting the efficiency of emergency services in reaching the scenes of accidents.

"The potential is game-changing. Trauma surgeons could be notified earlier, diagnostic testing could be prioritized for crash victims, and blood and other life-saving equipment could be made available sooner," they explain. "These pre-hospital and hospital level resources, if activated sooner, could aid in increasing quality and rapidity of patient care and potentially reduce morbidity and mortality."

The matter is vital, as there are over 100 deaths and 2.5 million visits to the emergency room every day from road traffic accidents in the United States alone. Ensuring that emergency vehicles can get to these incidents as quickly as possible can dramatically enhance the chances of those involved.

It perhaps goes without saying that more work is required before the approach is ready for market, but the early results are certainly promising enough to warrant the effort in doing so.

Topics:
big data ,open data ,crowdsourcing data ,real-time data

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