As Covid-19 cases continue to increase across the country and Maharashtra peaking with over 44K cases, Mumbai has decided to use technology to fulfil and manage the demand of ambulances. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to use a technology platform of app-based cab services to track the movement of government ambulances real-time and dispatch them quickly when needed.
The operators of app-based cabs will reportedly provide BMC with a copy of their existing technology platforms after making suitable modifications as per needs. “We will use the software to monitor the location of ambulances and divert the nearest ones to attend to patients,” said additional civic chief P Velrasu.
The development comes after reports surfaced that a Covid-19 patient walked to the hospital in Mumbai after no ambulance could be dispatched to pick him up after waiting for hours.
This is despite the state government converting several buses into ambulances to fulfil the increased demand to ferry patients to and from hospital.
Mumbai police have earlier used drones and artificial intelligence technology to monitor the densely populated neighbourhoods of the city in order to ensure that the social distancing is strictly enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Across the country, the governments have been focusing on technology to deal with the pandemic. NITI Aayog recently said that several startups have developed robots deployed at the entrance of office buildings and public places to dispense hand sanitiser, deliver public health messages about the coronavirus, to carry food and medicines in isolation wards of hospitals.
It noted that several apps have also been launched to promote telemedicine and teleconsultation by offering online consultation with doctors and tests at home. Besides this, there has also been the adoption of drones to monitor social distancing.
Further, Ola and Uber have also come forward to provide medical emergency services for those who are working as part of the essential services as well as other non-Covid-19 patients. With the tie-up to provide backend technology to digitise ambulance systems, the cab aggregators may help fulfil BMC’s efforts.