Towards a Mobile Augmented Reality System for Emergency Management: The Case of SAFE

Towards a Mobile Augmented Reality System for Emergency Management: The Case of SAFE

Angelo Croatti, Alessandro Ricci, Mirko Viroli
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5484-4.ch041
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The impressive development of wearable computing and augmented/mixed reality technologies that has been occurring in recent years allows for devising ICT systems that can bring a disruptive innovation in how emergency medical operations take place. In this paper the authors describe first explorations in that direction, represented by a distributed collaborative system called SAFE (Smart Augmented Field for Emergency) for teams of rescuers and operators involved in a rescue mission. SAFE is based on the integration of wearable computing and augmented reality technologies with intelligent agents and multi-agent systems.
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The Healthcare Emergency Scenario

In case of disasters, an efficient coordination of rescuers’ activities is essential to achieve the best usage of all available resources, which are typically very limited. First-aid treatments must be carried out rapidly and rescuers should have the capability to evaluate the injured people's health status, performing a primary medical treatment, if necessary.

All rescue actions on the mission field are carried out as a set of collaboration and cooperation activities, involving one or more teams acting within a specific environment with a very dynamic (and potentially unpredictable) context. In particular, teams should act cooperatively, sharing information with the purpose of making each rescuer aware of the global state of all actions performed on the field, or a subset of it. Each disaster area could have different characteristics, most of them potentially critical: for instance, communication infrastructures may be damaged or overwhelmed, and some sub-areas could be impossible to reach. Moreover, not all rescuers may have the same skills and duties (we can distinguish them between general-rescuers, nurse and medics) and, generally, a set of coordination mechanisms is needed to achieve a fruitful collaboration (Pipek, Liu, & Kerne, 2014).

The introduction of smart software systems supporting rescuers’ operations allow for tackling better the complexity of the rescue scenario, improving the effectiveness of both the individual actions and whole team coordination and collaboration.

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