MELBOURNE, 2 February 2020: Victorian triple zero (000) call takers will soon be making life-saving decisions using revolutionary artificial
intelligence technology to fast-track urgent care to people suffering from cardiac arrests.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced that Ambulance Victoria would receive $1.71 million from the
Andrews Labor Government’s Safer Care Victoria Innovation Fund for two groundbreaking new projects.
The Artificial Intelligence in Cardiac Arrest project will receive $1.36 million to help ESTA triple zero operators
identify signs of cardiac arrest over the phone – saving an additional 185 lives each year.
The artificial intelligence technology runs in the background of incoming emergency calls and picks up keywords,
language and sound patterns of the caller that are likely to indicate the patient is having a cardiac arrest.
If the system recognizes signs of a cardiac arrest, it alerts the ESTA triple zero call-taker to dispatch a high-priority
ambulance and talk bystanders through CPR or defibrillation. Ambulance Victoria will be working with Monash
University to develop the technology.
Ambulance Victoria also received an additional $350,000 to provide mental health-related emergency callers with
an option to use SMS to initiate a video call.
The limitations of voice-only triage are many people who call triple zero with a mental health concern often end up
being transported to an emergency department by ambulance, causing distress and delaying face-to-face specialist
Ambulance Victoria’s ‘Tele-HELP’ project will facilitate emergency video calls with an experienced mental health
nurse, allowing the nurse to more accurately assess the person and potentially provide face-to-face care sooner.
Safer Care Victoria is the state lead agency for improving quality and safety in Victorian healthcare. The innovation
fund has allocated $16.2 million to fund 42 projects since it was established in 2016.