Emergency call service in Australia to use AI to detect signs of heart attack

The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) in Victoria, Australia has decided to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help Triple Zero call takers (000) identify the incidence of a heart attack on the phone without wasting much time. 

According to Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, the state government’s coffers will grant $1.36m to Ambulance Victoria for designing and implementing the Cardiac Arrest Project in collaboration with Monash University. 

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Furthermore, an additional $350,000 will be given to Ambulance Victoria from the safer care Victoria innovation fund to start offering SMS and video calling facility under the project Tele-HELP for mental health-related emergency callers. 

As per the details shared by the ministry, the AI technology will run in the background all the time and monitor every incoming emergency call to identify similar patterns of sound, keywords, and language for detecting cardiac arrest symptoms. 

“We are always looking for new, cutting edge ways to innovate and deliver the very best and safest care – because all Victorians deserve access to world-class treatment when they need it most, no matter where they live,” said Mikakos.

The government states that the system will instantly alert the ESTA triple zero call takers after which a high-priority ambulance will be dispatched and “talk bystanders through CPR or defibrillation.”

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Through this project, the government aims to save 185 more lives per year. In incidents involving heart attacks “every second counts,” Mikakos explained, and AI will help paramedics provide medical help quickly to reduce the likelihood of brain damage and death.

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