Road crashes are a leading cause of deaths each year, with an average of 3,290 deaths a day, totaling to 1.3 million deaths each year, worldwide. In the U.S. alone, there are over 37,000 deaths due to road crashes each year, with an additional 2.35 million people who are injured or disabled. Per annum, this roughly costs $231 billion.
Of the crashes that occur, approximately 84% of these crashes occurred due to the driver experiencing a medical emergency, such as a seizure, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA also reported that “drivers with crashes precipitated by medical emergencies were more likely ...to be more severely injured or to die as a result of the crash.” While there is currently technology to, for example, detect sleep-ridden drivers, FirstTime is developing technology to detect medical emergencies before an emergency occurs to prevent vehicular crashes from happening.
While self-driving cars present an option to mitigate crashes, this technology also strips away the liberty of driving, with which many associate driving. FirstTime looks to make it possible to drive safely now, as well as realize the future of autonomous cars through our continuous innovation and adaptations.
Technology in cars has increased, including the capabilities to check emails, send texts, and update social media. Interestingly enough, despite all the safety ratings touted by car manufacturers, cars today still lack the technology to detect the driver’s vital signs in times of medical emergencies.
Our technology detects body vitals from the moment the driver’s hands touch the steering wheel. The device that FirstTime will implement searches for critical physiological markers in your vitals that preemptively indicate a medical emergency. Before a vehicular crash can even occur, the driver’s car will automatically take control and safely maneuver the vehicle towards the nearest exit or shoulder, protecting the driver and those nearby.
At the onset of a medical emergency, our system will automatically enable the GPS feature on the mobile phone, and notify emergency services based on the driver’s location. It will inform the emergency dispatch that the driver requires immediate medical attention. Additionally, pre-programmed contacts will be notified of your location and condition.
In the day and age of Internet connectivity, we want all drivers to be able to check their health status as soon as the vehicle’s doors are closed. The data from the vehicle will securely connect and record to your mobile device, with the option of sending the information to a medical professional.
FirstTime combines advanced automobile and healthcare technology to make one seamless product for drivers who want to ensure theirs and others’ safety on the road by anticipating the onset of medical emergencies.
Our team is a dedicated team of four, which includes engineers with mechanical, biomedical, and electrical engineering backgrounds; needless to say, all of us are all-around creative thinkers driven by the same goal: “To predict and respond to medical emergencies during driving.”
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Type of entry:teamTeam members:Megan Gray, Jonathan Chung, Premdeep Amudala, Gagan Bajaj, Patrick McCarthy
Patrick is inspired by:Whenever we are asked about inspirational people or companies, we often think of the rags to riches, started a computer company in my parents’ garage and turned it into one of the most successful business in the world archetype. The concept that anything is possible with a powerful idea and unwavering commitment is what defines the unlimited potential we have as entrepreneurs and inventors. I believe that we have something of such magnitude with what we are doing at FirstTime. Our technology will not only further revolutionize the automotive and mobile medical industries, but we will create a safer world for everyone.
So, when someone asks what inspires me about our work, there are a multitude of things I could point to; I am motivated by the fact that not only is my work something new and innovative, but I get to make a positive contribution to society. I am fascinated by the possibilities in the vast engineering realm, and thrive on helping other people. This is what I get to do here at FirstTime: to improve the quality of life, which provides me with an endless well of inspiration.