User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction

, Volume 21, Issue 4–5, pp 407–440 | Cite as

Personalized emergency medical assistance for disabled people

  • Luca Chittaro
  • Elio Carchietti
  • Luca De Marco
  • Agostino Zampa
Original Paper


Being able to promptly and accurately choose a proper course of action in the field is a crucial aspect of emergency response. For this reason, emergency medical services (EMS) rely on well established procedures that apply to the most frequent cases first responders encounter in their practice, but do not include special cases concerning (sensory, motor or cognitive) disabled persons. In these cases, first responders may end up applying suboptimal or possibly wrong procedures or lose precious time trying to adapt on-the-fly to the special case. This paper proposes both (i) a detailed patient model for EMS that can account for peculiar aspects of the many existing disabilities and (ii) an adaptive information system called PRESYDIUM (Personalized Emergency System for Disabled Humans) that provides tailored instructions in the field for helping medical first responders in dealing with disabled persons. More precisely, we will illustrate and discuss: (i) the design and development process of PRESYDIUM, (ii) the patient model, which is partly based on the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health) standard proposed by the World Health Organization, (iii) the knowledge base used by the system to provide tailored instructions to medical first responders, (iv) the Web-based architecture of the system, (v) the different interfaces—including one for mobile devices—the system provides to enable all the identified stakeholders (disabled persons, their families, clinicians, EMS call center operators, medical first responders) to easily access and possibly provide data to the system, (vi) the evaluation of the validity of the patient model and of the system usability which has been conducted with end users.


Personalized e-health information systems Patient models Disabled patients First responders Emergency medical services Tailored instructions Tailored decision support Knowledge-based systems Web-based systems Mobile applications 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Chittaro
    • 1
  • Elio Carchietti
    • 2
  • Luca De Marco
    • 1
  • Agostino Zampa
    • 3
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction LabUniversity of UdineUdineItaly
  2. 2.118 Regional Emergency Medical ServiceUdine HospitalUdineItaly
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation MedicinePhysical Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute “Gervasutta”UdineItaly

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