An app that allows air ambulance services to view patients before they arrive to treat them has been dubbed “game-changing”.

The GoodSAM App’s new feature, called ‘Instant on the Scene’, sends a link to the 999 caller’s mobile phone, which opens live streaming video and gives medics the ability to assess how seriously ill a patient is before setting off.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and Great North Air Ambulance Service are currently both testing the technology.

Professor Richard Lyon, associate medical director of Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, said: “Being able to see the scene of the incident, not only the patients, but how many cars are involved for example, is game-changing in helping us decide what additional resources we might need to send, assessing who we might need to treat first or what medication we might need to give.”

The GoodSAM system has incorporated technology that can measure a patient’s pulse – just from the video stream.

There is also plans for a beta phase feature which can measure multiple patients’ pulses simultaneously.

GoodSAM’s medical director, professor Mark Wilson, said: “Being able to see the patient and the scene without them having to download a video chat app, and getting a reading of their vital signs, dramatically improves remote assessment of illness.

“This can be through visualising the mechanisms of injury (e.g. number of vehicles involved) or how sick a patient appears.”

He added that the ‘Instant on the Scene’ feature could not only just be used by the ambulance service, but other emergency services as well, such as the police.

In January 2018, Digital Health News reported in a separate story how three ambulance trusts have been formally confirmed as global digital exemplars (GDEs) by NHS England.