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The System for Emergency Control Centers

The System for Emergency Control Centers is a client-server software solution designed to simplify and speed up daily tasks of control room operators. It improves communication with emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, planes, ships, helicopters, etc., providing a faster way to capture and share information.

For each call, the system starts a new task where the operators can indicate various details on the emergency situation, such as the pick-up address, destination address, etc. To gather more information for the medical staff, the solution provides lists of various medical conditions with instructions, as well as questions to ask. Operators can select a group of conditions, ask the provided questions, and mark the answers on the list. As a result, call processing speed increases considerably.

It is possible to assign different priorities to calls, so that the most urgent situations are resolved first. In addition, the alert function automatically notifies other emergency services, such as the police, fire department, etc. All operators share one log window. This helps to distribute tasks and makes it possible for several people to process one call at the same time.

Once all the required details have been filled in, the operator looks for an ambulance nearest to the location where an emergency occurred and drag-and-drops the vehicle on the map to assign the task.

Medical staff instantly receives assignments with detailed information about emergency situations and can prepare in advance. After the task has been completed, a notification is sent to the system and the vehicle is again marked as available.

The customer offers efficient fleet management solutions for a variety of industries, including healthcare, logistics, and security. They only provided a rough specification and wanted to have a possibility to make changes to the project during the development process. This is why it was decided to use the Agile development methodology.

The customer’s legacy system consisted of several modules developed by different companies. Altoros’s main task was to build a system that would use automation to accelerate call processing and, at the same time, be compatible with the customer’s mobile hardware.

The team had to ensure the highest reliability and fault protection since lives and health of people depended on the system’s stability. The Agile method also posed a challenge because changes could always be introduced to an already designed architecture. Another crucial factor was the speed of call processing; this is why we had to provide a user-friendly interface with quick access to all necessary functions. The team interviewed the customer’s employees to test usability. Then the structure of the navigation panel was changed and new features were added based on their requirements.

Altoros designed a client-server architecture that balanced the load and ensured high availability. The client monitors the cluster and distributes the load. If a node fails, the load is automatically spread among other machines.

Apache ActiveMQ was selected to serve as the messaging server. The same middleware is used for managing the Large Hadron Collider. The solution helped the team to implement instant messaging functionality and, at the same time, reduce the load on the server.

The updated system is a comprehensive solution with clear code. Before it was introduced, interviewing callers used to take a lot of time—operators had to write down and then type in the information in order to send it to the ambulances. The new system drastically reduced call processing time with drop-down lists of answers and a drag-and-drop interface. As a result, efficiency was improved on all stages from receiving calls to transporting patients to hospitals.

Technology Stack

Server Platform

MS Windows Server

Client Platform/Application Server

MS Windows 7

Technologies

MS.NET 4.5, WPF, WCF

Programming Language

C#

Database

MS SQL Server 2008 R2

Development Environment

MS Visual Studio 2012

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