The Future of Technology is the Future of EMS

Every year, I love reading about the new technologies on display at the Consumer Electronics Show. This year was no different, but more than ever the highlights of the show seemed relevant to our profession.

EMS certainly looks different than when I began my career more than 40 years ago, but in some ways that change has been a slow evolution—the ambulances I worked in back then don’t look too different than the ones our clients put on the streets today. That will soon change, as the rapid pace of technological change only accelerates. As our profession embarks on creating EMS Agenda 2050, we must consider how the rest of the world—from healthcare to urban planning and in between—is also charting a course for the future.

At CES this year, two of the major themes were directly relevant to EMS: “Smart cities” and health. This article on the new health and wellness gadgets on displaygives a sense of what the future might look like—and doesn’t even touch on the broader changes technology will bring to healthcare systems. Similarly, the advent of so-called “smart cities”—where data are collected and used in efforts to improve efficiency and the lives of residents—should be on every EMS leaders’ radar. Our patients, payers and communities will no longer accept a system that doesn’t take advantage of technologies they are using in their lives every day.

Best Regards,

Jay Fitch, PhD
Founding Partner, Fitch & Associates