Magen David Adom’s life-saving technology revealed

Science and Health

Ido Rosenblatt, Information Systems Director of Magen David Adom and MDA Paramedic Menachem Blumenthal discussed the organization’s lifesaving activities on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, at Joint Perspectives, a conference hosted by the German newspaper WELT and The Jerusalem Post in Berlin on Wednesday.

Rosenblatt said that Magen David Adom deployed state-of-the-art systems with many features, including artificial intelligence capabilities (AI) that helped speed up response times and enabled real-time video communication with MDA staff at its emergency call center. The system also enabled location of the injured in areas that were difficult to reach. “At the music festival in Re’im,” he said, “it was difficult to find the wounded in the field and send ambulances. These abilities that were in our in-house system helped us to accomplish our mission.”

MK Gideon Sa’ar is shown around Magen David Adom (MDA) headquarters (credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)

MDA’s Technological Response

MDA’s advanced technological capabilities enabled it to respond to the tens of thousands of calls received that day at the organization’s 101 Call Center, provide medical instruction by phone through pictures and video calls, and even automatically dispatched the teams to the many incident scenes, thus saving valuable time.

The dispatch technology was developed and is continuously updated in-house by Magen David Adom developers. The Israel Fire and Rescue Department recently adopted it, and it has also been shared with organizations outside of Israel that are using the advanced command and control capabilities developed by MDA. 

Blumenthal, a resident of Kibbutz Saad, located in the western Negev near Kfar Aza and Nachal Oz, said that in his twenty years of working as a paramedic, he thought that he had seen everything, but the reality of what he experienced on October 7 taught him otherwise. At 6:30 AM on that day, he was finishing a 24-hour shift in the Eshkol station near the Gaza border when the rockets began to land.

“I realized that we were in a different situation – that the war was taking place inside Israel and not outside the country.” Because of the presence of terrorists in the area, he was unable to transport the wounded immediately to the hospital and was forced to begin treating patients in a nearby synagogue. “Instead of celebrating the holiday of Simchat Torah, with dancing and prayer in the synagogue, the synagogue became an operating room with patients,” he related. 

Since the beginning of the war, MDA teams have been the medical first responders at the scenes of many routine and emergency events. Tragically, since October 7, four MDA workers were murdered, two were kidnapped, and MDA teams have been injured on their way to treat the wounded.