In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of emergency medical services. Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics will progressively be equipped with body-worn cameras (BWCs) from today. It plans to roll out the BWCs to all paramedics by 2020.
Notably, the body worn-camera is a compact device worn over the ear.
“SCDF will use the BWC recordings for coaching and training purposes. The recordings will also be used to help SCDF fine-tune its medical procedures,” said SCDF in a press statement.
Assistant Commissioner Yazid Abdullah, Director of SCDF’s Medical Department said, “The deployment of BWCs will allow SCDF to deliver better medical care and accountability to patients.”
“This is part of our efforts to use technology to enhance our emergency ambulance operations and improve patient outcomes. At the same time, we have put in place robust control measures to regulate the use of the BWCs and the recorded data,” he added.
In the long-term, SCDF intends to incorporate live-streaming capabilities into the cameras to allow off-site doctors to provide medical advice to paramedics attending to complex cases on the ground if needed.
However, it assured that paramedics will stop recording in certain situations to respect the privacy of the patients.
“Paramedics will stop recording in certain situations to respect the privacy of patients, such as maternity cases,” said SCDF.
SCDF has put in place strict controls and protocols to manage the use of the BWCs, and to safeguard the use, collection and storage of the recorded data. Only authorised personnel will be allowed to handle the collection, storage and use of the data.
Any access to the data will be logged to enable audit checks. The data will be encrypted for added security. SCDF will also ensure that the data is deleted after 90 days from the date of recording, unless there is justification to retain it, for example, to assist Police investigations.
Any officer who misuses the BWCs or data will be dealt with severely.