The Emergency Services Can Now Video Call Anyone Using A Text

'Being able to see the scene of the game-changing'

Two air ambulance services across the UK have started testing a revolutionary new technology that allows them to video call a 999 caller using a single text.

When the person clicks on the link they’ll be asked to give access to their camera and microphone. Once accepted this activates a video call between the caller and the 999 operator while showing your location.


What’s so impressive about this is that you don’t need to download an app, the whole process happens through the browser on your phone. Once the call ends, the browser shuts down, the location sharing stops and the operator loses access.

In addition to the new video-calling feature the team are also trialling a new technology that allows them to actually read the pulse of a patient through the camera.


Using machine learning, the system is able to generate a surprisingly accurate pulse reading using multiple metrics including changes in colour on the face and head movements.

The system has been developed by the creators of the GoodSAM app which also allows users to make 999 calls and send precise location information to first responders.

Professor Richard Lyon, Associate Medical Director of Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance which is trialling the technology said: “Being able to see the scene of the incident, not only the patients, but how many cars are involved for example, is game-changing in helping us decide what additional resources we might need to send, assessing who we might need to treat first or what medication we might need to give.”

Medical Director of GoodSAM, Professor Mark Wilson, believes the scope for this technology extends far beyond simply helping ambulance services.

“The ‘Instant On Scene’ function of the GoodSAM platform can be used for any emergency response, not just ambulance services. Police services could use it in response to both Minor and Major Incidents – providing a faster and more efficient response. It is unbelievably simple to integrate into the Computer Aided Dispatch.” he said.

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