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Experts Looking to Improve Medical Responses in Rural Areas

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Experts Looking to Improve Medical Responses in Rural Areas
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UMMC and FirstNet Authority Sign Collaboration Agreement
Jasmine Ellis

The University of Mississippi Medical Center and the First Responder Network are collaborating to help rural first responders save lives and protect communities through mobile broadband access. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Experts in Mississippi are looking for ways to use innovative technologies to improve medical responses and patient outcomes in rural areas of the state. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is collaborating with the First Responder Network in order to meet this goal. Stephen Houck is with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He says Mississippi doesn't have a lot of ability to transmit high speed data throughout the state.

"This partnership will enable us to bridge that gap so that we can send video from the field from paramedics at the scene of an accident to trauma centers, stroke centers, cardiac centers" said Houck. "So that we can get care delivered in the field sooner."

The partnership between the two organizations will also benefit first responders in rural areas by making sure they have mobile broadband in times of emergency.

First responders use the Mississippi Wireless Information Network or MSWIN to access and share information with one another through radio and other digital communication. John Elfer is director of the Warren County Emergency Management Agency. He says it would be extremely helpful if rural areas in Mississippi have access to mobile broadband during disasters.

"So let's say we had a breakdown in the infrastructure, the first responders normal mechanism to get internet access was not available," said Elfer. "We would be able to use the infrastructure with MSWIN. And that could be used in many different ways. It could be used in search and rescue. It could be used to access aerial and digital maps."

The collaboration is the first of its kind in the nation.