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Victoria, Australia to Use Cutting Edge Tech to Save Lives

Artificial Intelligence for Saving Life

Call takers of the Victorian triple zero (000) hotline will soon be making life-saving decisions using a revolutionary artificial intelligence (AI) technology that will fast-track urgent care to people suffering cardiac arrests.

About the Initiative

According to a recent press release, Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos has announced that Ambulance Victoria would receive AU$ 1.71 million from the Victorian Government’s Safer Care Victoria Innovation Fund for two ground-breaking new projects.

She explained that they are always looking for new, cutting edge ways to innovate and deliver the very best and safest care.

All Victorians deserve access to world-class treatment when they need it most, no matter where they live.

Artificial Intelligence in Cardiac Arrest

The first project is the Artificial Intelligence in Cardiac Arrest project, which will receive $1.36 million.

It will help ESTA triple zero operators identify signs of cardiac arrest over the phone, which will save an additional 185 lives each year.

The Minister shared that in a cardiac arrest, every second counts.

Cutting edge artificial intelligence will help paramedics get to the scene of a cardiac arrest faster, thereby reducing the chance of brain damage and giving them a greater chance of surviving.

The artificial intelligence technology works by running in the background of incoming emergency calls and picks up keywords, language and sound patterns of the caller that are likely to indicate the patient is having a cardiac arrest.

If the system recognises signs of a cardiac arrest, it alerts the ESTA triple zero call-taker to dispatch a high-priority ambulance and talk bystanders through CPR or defibrillation.

Ambulance Victoria will be working with Monash University to develop the technology.


Moreover, Ambulance Victoria also received an additional AU$ 350,000 for a second project that will provide mental health-related emergency callers with an option to use SMS to initiate a video call.

One limitation of a voice-only triage is that many people who call the triple zero hotline with a mental health concern often end up being transported to an emergency department by ambulance.

This causes distress and delays in face-to-face specialist care.

Ambulance Victoria’s ‘Tele-HELP’ project will facilitate emergency video calls with an experienced mental health nurse.

This will allow the nurse to assess the person more accurately and potentially provide face-to-face care sooner.

Ambulance Victoria Director Centre for Research and Evaluation Professor Karen Smith expressed her excitement at working in collaboration with Safer Care Victoria.

The support from these innovation grants has allowed for the development of new tools to support decision making and appropriate ambulance response.

Safer Care Victoria is the state’s lead agency for improving quality and safety in Victorian healthcare. The innovation fund has allocated AU$ 16.2 million to fund 42 projects since it was established in 2016.

AI in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence has found its way in every aspect of a person’s daily life and healthcare is not an exception. OpenGov Asia had reported on the initiatives of other countries that utilised AI for health.

Malaysia revolutionises dental healthcare with data-driven systems and AI.

The country is advancing its dental healthcare industry with the implementation of AI technology aiming to have better treatment outcomes and experiences for patients.

The Dental Imaging Diagnostic and Clinical Decision Support System leverages AI and machine learning for accurate interpretation. It also suggests the suitable treatment plans for the patients.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of Health explores AI solutions for TB.

The Health Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to explore the applications of the technology in its fight against TB.

As part of the collaboration, Wadhwani AI will help “The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP)” of the government to become “AI-ready”.

This would include developing, piloting, and deploying AI-based solutions.


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