Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag August 16, 2016

Smartglasses for the Triage of Casualties and the Identification of Hazardous Materials

How Smartglasses Can Help Emergency Medical Services Managing Challenging Rescue Missions

Henrik Berndt, Tilo Mentler and Michael Herczeg
From the journal i-com


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can be confronted with complex and challenging situations with many casualties that require special procedures and organizational structures. In order to keep control and records, incident commanders use paper-based notes, lists and forms. The increasing availability of smartglasses leads to the research question, whether they can support members of EMS and improve processes and efficiency. In this contribution, we describe use cases for smartglasses in emergency medicine, such as the triage in incidents with many casualties and the recognition of hazardous materials in accident contexts. We describe results from interviews with 10 members of EMS and civil protection units in Germany and from prototypical applications that have been developed and evaluated together with domain experts. The prototypical applications described in this contribution have shown promising results with respect to usability and acceptance.


[1] Adler, C., Krüsmann, M., Greiner-Mai, T., Donner, A., Chaves, J. M. & Via Estrem, À. (2011). IT-Supported Management of Mass Casualty Incidents: The e-Triage Project. In Proceedings of the 8th International ISCRAM Conference. Lisbon.Search in Google Scholar

[2] Berndt, H., Mentler, T. & Herczeg, M. (2015). Optical Head-Mounted Displays in Mass Casualty Incidents: Keeping an Eye on Patients and Hazardous Materials. International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), 7(3), 1–15.10.4018/IJISCRAM.2015070101Search in Google Scholar

[3] Billings, C. E. (1997). Aviation Automation: The Search for A Human-Centered Approach. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.Search in Google Scholar

[4] Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe. (2015). 6. Sichtungs-Konsensus-Konferenz. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

[5] Carenzo, L., Barra, F. L., Ingrassia, P. L., Colombo, D., Costa, A. & Della Corte, F. (2015). Disaster medicine through Google Glass. European Journal of Emergency Medicine, 22(3), 222–225.10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000229Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[6] Cicero, M. X., Walsh, B., Solad, Y., Whitfill, T., Paesano, G., Kim, K., Baum, C. R. & Cone, D. C. (2015). Do You See What I See? Insights from Using Google Glass for Disaster Telemedicine Triage. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 30, 4–8.10.1017/S1049023X1400140XSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

[7] Ellebrecht, N. (2013). Die Realität der Sichtung. Ergebnisse einer Befragung zur Sichtungsausbildung und MANV-Erfahrung von Notärzten und Rettungsassistenten. Notfall + Rettungsmedizin, 16(5), 369–376.10.1007/s10049-013-1726-6Search in Google Scholar

[8] Endsley, M. R., Bolté, B. & Jones, D. G. (2003). Designing for Situation Awareness. London: Taylor & Francis.10.1201/9780203485088Search in Google Scholar

[9] Endsley, M. R. & Garland, D. J. (Ed.). (2000). Situation Awareness - Analysis and Measurement. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.10.1201/b12461Search in Google Scholar

[10] Google Inc. (2015). Design for Glass. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

[11] Jenkins, J. L., McCarthy, M. L., Sauer, L. M., Green, G. B., Stuart, S., Thomas, T. L. & Hsu, E. B. (2008). Mass-casualty triage: time for an evidence-based approach. Prehosp Disaster Med. 23(1), 3–8.10.1017/S1049023X00005471Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[12] Kanz, K., Hornburger, P., Kay, M., Mutschler, W. & Schäuble, W. (2006). mSTaRT-Algorithmus für Sichtung, Behandlung und Transport bei einem Massenanfall von Verletzten. Notfall + Rettungsmedizin, 9(3), 264–270.10.1007/s10049-006-0821-3Search in Google Scholar

[13] Killeen, J. P., Chan, T. C., Buono, C. J., Griswold, W. G. & Lenert, L. A. (2006). A wireless first responder handheld device for rapid triage, patient assessment and documentation during mass casualty incidents. In AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 429–433.Search in Google Scholar

[14] Krüger-Brand, H. E. (2014). Telemedizin in Bayern: Mobile Lösung für den Rettungsdienst. Deutsches Ärzteblatt 111(45), 13.Search in Google Scholar

[15] Luiz, T., Zurek, B., Rauen, C., Jugenheimer, K. & Ullrich, C. (2013). Einsatzdokumentation im Rettungsdienst: Papier oder Tablet? Rettungsdienst 36(7), 668–670.Search in Google Scholar

[16] Mentler, T. & Herczeg, M. (2014). Interactive Cognitive Artifacts for Enhancing Situation Awareness of Incident Commanders in Mass Casualty Incidents. In Proceedings of the 2014 European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE ‘14), Article 24. New York: ACM.Search in Google Scholar

[17] Mentler, T., Herczeg, M., Jent, S., Stoislow, M., Kindsmüller, M. C. & Rumland, T. (2012). Routine mobile applications for emergency medical services in mass casualty incidents. Biomedical Engineering / Biomedizinische Technik, 57(SI-1 Track-N), 784–787.10.1515/bmt-2012-4457Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[18] Peters, O., Runggaldier, K. & Schlechtriemen, T. (2007). Algorithmen im Rettungsdienst. Ein System zur Effizienzsteigerung im Rettungsdienst. Notfall + Rettungsmedizin 10(3), 229–236.10.1007/s10049-006-0886-zSearch in Google Scholar

[19] Schmiedel, R. & Behrendt, H. (2015). Leistungen des Rettungsdienstes 2012 / 13. Analyse des Leistungsniveaus im Rettungsdienst für die Jahre 2012 und 2013. (Berichte der Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen, M 260). Bremen: Carl Schünemann Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

[20] Sefrin, P. (2010). Der Massenanfall von Verletzten. Notfallvorsorge 41(4), 13–16.Search in Google Scholar

[21] World Health Organization. (2007). Mass Casualty Management Systems. Strategies and guidelines for building health sector capacity. WHO Document Production Services. Retrieved from in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2016-08-16
Published in Print: 2016-08-01

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston