Next Generation 911 has been in the works under the FCC, Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation in an attempt to make 911 emergency calls more efficient than the current iteration. However, health policy analyst John S. Wilson feels that Siri and other voice services could usher in Next Generation 911 with emergency calls that encompass almost everything except the rescue itself. Emergency calls made to 911 at present can only be done via phone call and emergency operators and respondents have no way to find the caller without an address. Next Generation 911 is an overhaul to our current emergency response system, allowing GPS locations to be attached to not only phone calls, but texts and video messages as well. John S. Wilson of Policy Diary penned an article at GigaOM recommending development of Siri and other natural voice recognition software to aid in emergency calls. Siri's popularity with new iPhone 4S owners has gotten them excited over new ways to bend the personal assistant to their will. Unfortunately, Siri cannot make emergency calls as Apple has not instituted a method to authenticate the call and ensure it is not a prank, as many Siri inquiries have been since launch. As a health policy analyst, John S. Wilson believes 'Siri's particular ability to understand natural language and its deep, contextual search capabilities may change how people contact and communicate with first responders.' He also adds the three following steps Siri could take, if allowed to make emergency calls, when someone requires help but may not necessarily know where they are or what exactly happened due to trauma or otherwise.
  • 'First, the phone could video call 911 utilizing Skype or a similar VoIP video service. This would allow first responders to have a much better context of the emergency at hand. Armed with a live video and audio feed of the event, visual cues could assist the first responders as they deconstruct the problem.
  • 'Second, Siri could send the GPS location of the caller.'
  • 'Third, an app could automatically transmit critical information to the nearest hospital. First Choice Healthcare already has an app that gathers this information – primary care physician, current medications and any drug allergies – for a patient heading to the ER. Depending on the patient's physician, it's possible that the patient's entire electronic health record (EHR) loaded into the app (or otherwise shared with authorized medical personnel) as well.'
Not only this, Siri could be prompted to notify next-of-kin when and where the caller initiated the emergency call and inform them as to which hospital the caller will be located. 'Capabilities like these may shave precious minutes off first-response times and get victims to critical care faster.' In addition to the fun and convenience smartphones bring to our lives, those concerned with health policy and technology find essential emergency aids in the form of Siri. Imagine your Apple iPhone 4S accessories as well as cell phone covers and phone cases for Android devices that may have natural voice recognition software in the future all the apps and accessories on our trusted devices may help us in a way we take for granted. Imagine Siri, perfectly nested in stylish iPhone 4S leather cases or iPhone 4S covers, responding not only to one's appointments, questions, and whims but also assisting with emergency calls in a dire moments of need.

Posted by David Yi, Social Media and SEO Assistant at Wireless Emporium