The project builds the foundation for a follow-up Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) action by analysing challenges and innovation needs in the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) field. Based on the collected practitioner insights and information on technological advancements the consortium made an informed decision and selected the area of Triage Management Systems as most relevant to be tackled during a follow-up PCP project.
Recent events proved that the vulnerability of Emergency Medical Services Systems (EMSS) across Europe during emergencies such as a virus outbreak is a factor which affects people’s lives and also destabilizes countries’ health care systems and economies. The varying standards, organizational structures and coordination mechanism of EMSS may undermine future efforts made to cope with emergencies from that scope. Against this background practitioner organisations and relevant stakeholders from across Europe with experience and knowledge in the field joined forces with the goal to identify major issues of the EMS ecosystem, increase the capability of working together and stimulate R&I uptake to face current innovation needs. The initiative consequently resulted in the creation of the iProcureSecurity Horizon 2020 project.
Coordinated by SYNYO GmbH (Austria), a total of 10 partners from 7 countries including JOHANNITER INTERNATIONAL (Belgium), SERVICIO MADRILEÑO DE SALUD (Spain), JOHANNITER AUSBILDUNGS UND FORSCHUNGS GEMEINNÜTZIGE GMBH (Austria), ACIL AMBULANS HEKIMLERI DERNEĞI (Turkey), HELLENIC SOCIETY OF EMERGENCY PREHOSPITAL CARE (Greece), FUNDACION PARA LA INVESTIGACION BIOMEDICA HOSPITAL INFANTIL UNIVERSITARIO NINO JESUS (Spain), ITALIAN RESUSCITATION COUNCIL (Italy), EUROPEAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, and the TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN (Ireland) conducted in-depth research.
In the following sections, the core outputs that have been developed during the project as well as the achievements of the work are highlighted.
As a Coordination and Support Action (CSA), the project built the foundation for a follow up Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project. It achieved this goal by collecting and analysing practitioner insights and information on technological advancements to define the requirements for an innovative solution which will close the supply gap of proven and standardized technologies that support the entire triage management process. More than 900 EMS practitioners and decision makers from all organisational levels from across Europe provided their insights through surveys, conferences, workshops and webinars. The project established a full overview on the EMS ecosystem and established 9 comprehensive real-life scenarios based on EMS main tasks including frequent as well as rare events. Furthermore, close cooperation with other R&D projects in the domain were established and more than 180 innovation providers and initiatives were mapped to capture the state of the art as well as new technological domains which will become of relevance to the EMS field. The iProcureSecurity CSA consortium finally screened more than 340 challenges, gaps and innovation needs. Based on detailed analysis of the gathered data and in-depth discussions and workshops with the practitioners the iProcureSecurity consortium made an informed decision and selected the area of Triage Management Systems as most relevant to be tackled during a follow-up PCP project. Compared to other relevant areas the demand for innovation in triage management is not only complex but also holds the key for an increased interoperability of practitioners that should be able to work in critical and rapidly changing scenarios. This affects not only the cross-border level but is already of relevance in many cases on a regional basis where different EMS organisations and further first line responders have to work together more efficiently.
To share the collected insights, keep the knowledge exchange going and help EMS practitioners and other relevant stakeholders from the field tackle capability gaps and common challenges through innovation procurement the project consortium established the iProcureSecurity Open Information Hub and the connected EMS Network.
Open Information Hub
The Open Information Hub available at www.iprocuresecurity.eu constitutes an important connection between iProcureSecurity and all relevant external stakeholders from the EMS field. It is the digital doorway, news centre and promotional tool that was applied to ensure that the project’s results and achievements can attain a high level of awareness. Departing from the extensive research and assessment work carried out by the project consortium, the knowledge base of the hub includes, among others, more than 310 documents, 400 EMS terms and related explanations in several languages, more than 90 news articles, 75 projects and 60 organisations.
To set the ground for the conception of a new technological solution in the area of Triage Management and foster the sustainable exploitation of potential demand for innovation in the field, iProcureSecurity has established the EMS Network (www.iprocuresecurity.eu/ems-network). Currently there are more than twenty groups with members coming from 19 different countries from Europe and beyond representing EMS organisations, industry, research organisations and other relevant stakeholders in the EMS sector. The EMS Network will also further support the knowledge exchange among EMS practitioners across Europe in the upcoming years.
iProcureSecurity engaged with a number of relevant stakeholders in the field including EMS practitioners, hospitals, industry representatives, authorities, researches, and related networks. To build synergies and initiate knowledge exchange, the project utilized a set of communication channels. Hence, it managed to facilitate a successful communication with the target audiences and disseminate the project’s achievements. The wide range of tools, implemented to ensure sustainable engagement with the relevant project stakeholders, include for instance the project website, the iProcureSecurity web platform, the project newsletter, factsheets and leaflets.
In the context of the project engagement, the consortium has carried out a number of activities with the aim to: promote iProcureSecurity, collect inputs and data needed to achieve the objectives of the project; create synergies, and raise awareness on certain issues. Consequently, for the different objectives of the project, the consortium has organized a series of webinars and workshops, conducted surveys and interviews, held bilateral and networking meetings and organized a final event. Further on, the consortium managed to attend 54 external events. This allowed the project to share project’s results and lessons learned beyond the participating organizations and enable the wider EMS community in Europe to benefit from the work that has been done.
Project’s promotional materials
In the final phase of project implementation the consortium continued its efforts to produce and distribute new materials, videos and newsletters. An example is a video which was produced prior to the final event to promote the work carried out by the consortium in the last 20 months. The video is available on the homepage of the project platform as well as presented on the project’s social media channels.
The following impacts were achieved throughout the project duration
- increased awareness on the capability gaps and needs in the EMS field
- common understanding on the key areas for innovation was established
- the basis for the facilitation of the uptake of innovative solutions was set
- creation of a pan-European Network of prehospital medical specialists to foster harmonization and enhance their capabilities
- more awareness on existing and upcoming innovations to help EMS organizations make informed decisions about which technologies can be included in their systems in future
Project’s outcomes and results of SYNYO GmbH
During the project implementation the coordinator, SYNYO GmbH (SYNYO), focused on the technical development and refinement of the iProcureSecurity online platform and the connected EMS Network. Furthermore, SYNYO established direct connections to relevant target groups including EMS networks and leading projects such as NO-FEAR to ensure that knowledge can be exchanged and insights from iProcureSecurity can also support other actors in the field. Beyond that the organisation supported all partners during all main activities to collect and analyse data on the EMS ecosystem. In addition, infographics, factsheets and visualisations were created, which helped all project partners to make use of the findings directly and also disseminate it to further stakeholders to create recognizable impacts. In addition, SYNYO facilitated and supervised the work on the tender documents with experts in the field, which was essential to build up the necessary knowledge for preparing the planned PCP.
Emergency Medical Services, capability gaps, innovation needs, innovation procurement, Triage Management Systems; Open Information Hub, EMS Network, pan-European Network