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Phrazer is a handheld medical communicator that identifies a patient's native language and...

With over 170 languages spoken in the U.S. alone, medical personnel attending an emergency or working in a busy hospital are no doubt often faced with communication problems when trying to dispense treatment. The Phrazer offers a possible solution to this problem. It is billed as the world's first multilingual communication system, where patients provide medical background information, symptoms or complaints with the help of a virtual onscreen doctor speaking in their own native tongue. This information is then summarized into a medical record compatible with all major EMR systems.  Read More

A nanoparticle-based process allows blood clots to show up on a new type of CT scan (Image...

Every year, millions of people come into emergency rooms complaining of chest pains, yet those pains are only sometimes due to heart attacks. Unfortunately in many of those cases, the only way to be sure of what’s going on is to admit the patient for an overnight stay, and administer time-consuming and costly tests. Now, however, a new procedure could reveal the presence and location of a blood clot within hours. It’s made possible by the injection of nanoparticles, each containing a million atoms of bismuth – a toxic heavy metal.  Read More

The iCar Black Box app lets your iPhone double as an accident recording system

Watch any of those Caught on Tape!-type shows, and you’ll know just how valuable an in-car “black box” camera can be. Not only does it provide a visual record of who was at fault in an accident, but you can also use it to record any other questionable activity that takes place in front of your car. While most of the “sensational” footage comes from cameras in police cars, civilian versions such as the CarCam Voyager and the envisionCAM are available for us regular folk. You can go ahead and pay US$100 to $575 for one of those ... or you can shell out 99 cents for the iCar Black Box iPhone app.  Read More

A new location-aware iPhone app has been developed that notifies registered users within t...

Around three hundred thousand people in the U.S. are said to suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year, so with survival rates standing at less than eight percent and brain death taking a grip just four to six minutes after an attack, every second counts. The San Ramon Valley Fire Department is therefore calling on members of the public who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help. A new location-aware iPhone app has been developed that notifies registered users within the 155 square-mile (401.5 sq km) San Ramon Valley, California region when their skills are needed to save lives.  Read More

Chicago firefighters learn how to respond to EV accidents, using a donated Chevrolet Volt

As electric cars edge their way further into the mainstream, there is increased talk of how our infrastructure must adapt to accommodate them – networks of charging stations must be established, methods of recycling or disposing of their batteries must be developed, mechanics need to learn how to fix them ... but what happens when they crash? They may not have a big flammable gas tank, but there’s still a lot of electricity to be wary of. In order to educate emergency response personnel on how to safely work with EVs at accident scenes, the US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently offering its Electric Vehicle Safety Training course to first responders across America.  Read More

Eton's new TurboDyne Series - left to right:  The Axis, Road Torq and Rover

Outdoor electronics specialist Etón Corporation has expanded its line of American Red Cross branded products with the new TurboDyne Series. We checked out the three new self-powered emergency preparedness devices – the Road Torq, Axis and Rover – at CES 2011.  Read More

The GoBagger is a sandbag-filling device that is said to be five times faster than using a...

With all the advances we hear about in fields such as nanotechnology and electric vehicles, it’s easy to believe that simpler technology has evolved as far as it can go – that there is simply no way of improving things like the stapler, the dinner plate or the garden hose. Well, that line of thinking was recently proven wrong with the invention of a better type of sandbag. Now, as if to drive the point home, we hear about a better way of filling sandbags, and it’s a device called the GoBagger.  Read More

Sandbricks offer a number of design advantages over the traditional sandbag

Floods are an inevitable part of life and the standard line of defense is the humble sandbag. While having applications in emergency relief, engineering and military environments, their design has remained relatively unchanged since the 18th Century. That is until now.  Read More

Younghwa Lee's door provides shelter in the event of an earthquake

What are you supposed to do when an earthquake hits? If you answered “Go stand in a doorway,” you get a gold star... although "Get under a table" would also be correct. Doorways are structurally stronger than most other parts of a building, and are often the last thing left standing when a structure has been destroyed by an earthquake. A narrow doorway offers little, however, in the way of protection from falling debris. That’s why an MA Design student from England’s Kingston has University invented a special kind of door.  Read More

The Escape Rescue System can transport rescue personnel up the building and evacuate build...

There would be few scarier places to be in the event of a fire than in a high-rise building with no means of escape. Tragedies such as the World Trade Center disaster have highlighted the vulnerability of the building’s core and emergency stairwell as the only venue for evacuation. We've seen some last resort options that cater for those individuals brave enough to rappel or even parachute from the building, but that's still only part of the equation. When escape routes are compromised it not only prevents evacuation, but also prevents emergency personnel reaching the trouble spots. Escape Rescue Systems' solution is to use collapsible cabins which can be lowered over the side of the building to transport rescue personnel up... and evacuate building occupants down.  Read More

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