Artificial Intelligence in Prehospital Emergency Health Care


Project Status:
Project Line:
Horizon Scan
Project Sub Line:
Health Technology Update
Project Number:

What Is the Issue?

Health care systems in Canada, including prehospital emergency health care services, are facing staffing shortages and increased patient volumes, and are looking for creative solutions to ensure the provision of high-quality care.

What Is the Technology?

Artificial intelligence (AI) combines computer science and data to mimic human thought processes, problem solving, and responses.

AI relies on statistical models, algorithms, data analysis, and machine learning to make predictions based on past behaviours or results (predictive AI) or to learn from past data to generate new content (generative AI). Chatbots, such as ChatGPT, are examples of generative AI.

What Is the Potential Impact?

In health care settings, AI can be used to automate some clinical and administrative processes to create efficiencies and reduce burden on health care providers and health administrators.

In a prehospital setting, this can include AI used at the dispatch stage (e.g., analyzing the conversation and prompting a dispatcher with additional questions, or translating speech to help a dispatcher understand a caller in real time) or in an ambulance (e.g., providing traffic analysis or information to support optimal patient management).

What Else Do We Need to Know?

The use of AI in prehospital emergency health care is still in the early stages of development and implementation. Early implementation of AI programs such as those to detect out of hospital cardiac events and to triage emergency calls during peak times are underway in some countries. 

More real-world clinical trials and research are required before widespread implementation will take place.