In the emergency environment, the first responder’s heart rate and blood pressure rises.
Breathing heavily forces increased oxygen consumption, which coupled with the increase in heart rate can impair the heart’s pumping capacity. For firefighters, heat stress and dehydration compound the problem.
Longer term, the impact of this strain on the heart could accelerate vascular changes which can cause cardiac arrhythmias and potentially subsequent myocardial infarction.
Can ECG Biometrics Help?
There are two clear use cases for ECG biometrics in this area. The first is authentication, helping command centres monitor who is on-site and where - something that can easily become difficult in a stressful and changing emergency situation.
“These situations are often in isolation of fellow first responders and command and control centres, providing a headache for monitoring the health and wellbeing of those first on the scene.
“Preventing injuries to first responders and ensuring that their health is preserved in order for them to be effective in helping others is a vital consideration. But we need also to identify exactly who needs support and who may need to be replaced by backup members of the team.”
Once we know who is on scene, we must determine clearly and accurately their physical condition. ECG biometrics can give us vital insights into their:
- Respiration rate