Training and Health Information Sent via Cell Phone
ARRA Success Story
Cesar Bandera, Ph.D.
Founder, BanDeMar Networks
In today's world of information overload and short attention spans, a small New Jersey information technology company, using a Recovery Act grant from NIEHS, saw a way to cut through the clutter to get urgently needed information right to the people who need it, using something nearly everyone is carrying with them — a cell phone.
It's like Twitter but with videos.
Using the same technology that enables e-mail or notifications from Facebook or Twitter to pop up on a smart phone, BanDeMar Networks is developing a version of this "push" technology to deliver on-the-spot training to workers at emergency sites.
BanDeMar calls the concept Just-in-Time Training for Emergency Incidents System (JITTEIS). "Just-in-Time Training is a type of distance learning," says company founder Cesar Bandera, Ph.D., "but instead of being in the classroom, it's actually given to the person in the field who needs the information right then and there."
"The Just-in-Time Training concept allows information to be sent to someone the moment that person needs that information, only for the task at hand, specifically for what that person has to do that day."
- Cesar Bandera, Ph.D.
"The tricky part," Bandera continues, "was to come up with a way the videos could be sent to any phone, no matter how old and no matter what the carrier."
The first big test of the technology came during an April 2010 terrorism training exercise in Philadelphia that simulated a dirty bomb attack. Of the 500 participants, many were HAZMAT workers needing training in dealing with radiological hazards. BanDeMar was able to send its JITTEIS videos to these workers and create new ones on the fly.
Next, the JITTEIS concept was put into action in Haiti , informing medical workers on the correct way to rehydrate cholera patients, and saving lives for real. Also, Gulf oil spill cleanup workers have received safety information via JITTEIS.