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Data being tapped to hasten emergency responses

Paul Newman Archive
Big data has been touted as a solution for many business functions, from improved marketing campaigns to better supply chain decisions that anticipate consumer demands. However, the ability to harness and organize vast amounts of information while upholding data quality is also making it possible for emergency responders to get people the help they need sooner, according to The Atlantic.

After Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, Disaster Relief International and Team Rubicon harnessed both structured and unstructured data, such as locations of power grid outages, satellite pictures of areas that received the brunt of the storm's impact and reports of gas availability, the source adds. The organizations used this data to create maps for emergency responders so they could expedite help to places that needed it the most.

The same idea is being applied by Itochu Corp., which has developed a smartphone application and IC tags that can communicate individuals' health information for easier transmission should they suffer an injury, catch an illness or get caught in a natural disaster, the Asahi Shimbun reports. Data contained in the system, such as patients' names and the degree to which they are injured, can be transmitted to emergency responders so they can administer the most appropriate care on the spot.