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Creating an Innovation Community

Israel is home to a very unique business, and life-saving idea. United Hatzalah of Israel is a unique emergency response organization that has trained volunteers ready to respond at any moment by “Ambucycles.” These bikes are equipped with various emergency supplies, such as trauma kits and defibrillators. The “ambucycles” provide not only fast response times, but also allow the volunteers to be prepared and fully equipped to deal with emergencies. These volunteers can be doctors, nurses, or paramedics, and are on call every minute of every day.

This remarkable organization uses a system called LifeCompass. This innovative system “draws a virtual perimeter around an incident that is entered into the system. It then alerts only the medics in a predetermined radius to the incident.” LifeCompass is a spectacular system with 2,000 members signed up, ready to be alerted of and respond to any emergencies in their vicinity.

The goal of the United Hatzalah is not to overstep the local ambulances and hospitals, but instead, to provide emergency care prior to the ambulances arrival on the scene. On average, it takes six minutes for an ambulance to arrive; whereas, it takes the United Hatzalah less than three minutes. The United Hatzalah use these three crucial minutes to provide potentially life-saving care to those waiting for help. This “pre-ambulance” system is genius and effective, having responded to roughly 210,000 emergencies in one year.

Although a system like this is expensive to operate, any country would benefit from implementing a “pre-ambulance” response system similar to the United Hatzalah. There are many generous people in the world like Mark Gerson, the co-founder of the Gerson Lehrman Group and philanthropist, who can donate money toward saving lives. Mark Gerson donates around $1 million a year to the United Hatzalah.

Israel has truly set a new standard of emergency care that should be mimicked around the world. What do you think of this business idea? Would it work in the U.S.?

Jason DeLeo Jr., Intern

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