Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

NEXES Report Summary

Project ID: 653337
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NEXES (NEXt generation Emergency Services)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Today, the main problems faced by European emergency services are the reliance of communications on voice calls; the inaccuracy of location data; the partial accessibility support through SMS and fax; and the high number of false or hoax calls.
320 millions citizens in distress call emergency services every year expecting a swift and effective response, that requires evolution towards next generation emergency services (NGES) through the adoption and integration of IP-enabled broadband technologies to:
• Implement eCall, an example of automated emergency calls;
• Provide Total Conversation, smartphone emergency Apps and Emergency SMS to improve accessibility;
• Improve caller location information.
NEXES is the first ever Internet-enabled end-to-end NGES, offering advanced communications and information technologies and interoperability capabilities to improve emergency response and maintain an adequate level of security in society.
NEXES's importance to society is based on its unparalleled capability to reduce the numbers of death and injuries caused by emergency response delay, as well as its associated societal costs involving premature death, life with disability, medical treatment costs and productivity loss. It is known that the absence of a rapid emergency response is often translated into the loss of lives, temporary or definitive disabilities or impairments and a generalised sense of insecurity. For example, location inaccuracy leads to considerable time loss (>30 minutes) in emergency intervention and a Swedish study valued the cost of a minute lost in life-saving operations at 1,300€.
NEXES proposes to overcome current limitations of emergency services by delivering the NEXES System and Apps, as well as the NEXES Recommendations, to build a paced pathway for emergency services to adopt IP-based communication technologies and interoperability solutions that meet emergency services’ requirements and citizens’ needs.
Overall, the NEXES’s strategic objectives are to develop and integrate IP-enabled communications into emergency services to take full advantage of Internet technologies and support total conversation (voice, real-time text, video and data) and rich emergency data exchange between citizens and emergency services, enhancing emergency situational awareness and interoperability.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The NEXES RIA started on May 1 2015 and will be completed on April 30 2018. So far, it has met all planned Milestones and submitted timely all 14 deliverables, only with a short delay in the delivery of D1.1 and D3.6.
Aside from management tasks aiming to ensure the continuous oversight of activities, progress, risks and accomplishments of the NEXES RIA, in full compliance with EU and national regulation and ethics principles, the NEXES partners have conducted a remarkable effort interacting with end-users, in order to identify and analyse existing practices, requirements, needs and gaps of emergency services across Europe and in Turkey and to produce novel reference scenarios, user requirements and key performance indicators fitted for NGES and considering the necessities of citizens experiencing disability.
Based on user requirements, the NEXES partners developed the NEXES System, offering a set of functions that enable NG capabilities. The NEXES’s architecture and system requirements were defined, with a specific emphasis on security. Public communications networks were adapted to support NG emergency calls, while providing superior call prioritisation and routing capabilities and enhanced location information. Moreover, NEXES addressed interoperability with legacy systems to ensure a paced, smooth transition towards NGES.
User requirements also created a new demand for emergency Apps, driving the NEXES partners to define a pan-European standard specification for emergency Apps offering NG capabilities and to implement the NEXES App API, integrating total conversation, improved location and the exchange of user data. These features are now not only part of the NEXES Apps for citizens but also accounted in new PSAP call handling systems, thus achieving a true end-to-end NGES solution.
NEXES partners have also been active in the definition and development of the first Testing Regime and Validation Framework for NEXES and third-party NGES, providing a reliable and cost-effective Testbed that is adaptable to selected services, standards and interfaces. Its role is instrumental for building the first iteration of NEXES, integrating the different components developed by the NEXES partners.
A set of demonstration activities, involving exercises, App Challenge editions and pilots, are thus showcasing the NEXES System and Apps and their innovative capabilities and bringing valuable know-how and experiences into the Action. The NEXES Campaigns of Demonstration lie in the centre of the dissemination and communication effort aiming to generate awareness on NEXES and the overwhelming societal benefits of NGES. Thus far, more than 30 dissemination and communication actions, including meetings, conferences and workshops, have highlighted the added value of NEXES, an effort further echoed through multiple communication channels and a very active network of 50 key stakeholders from 17 countries worldwide.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

NEXES succeeded in establishing a solid progress beyond the current state-of-the-art of emergency services in Europe, characterised by the use of voice calls, whereas citizens experiencing deafness or hearing impairment are likely to use text telephony and fax (only 10 European countries implemented a dedicated pre-registered SMS service), and by the reliance in location information provided by the network operator.
NEXES leverages on IP-enabled technologies to transform emergency services, by adding, to the conventional voice-only or VoIP communications, image, video and real-time text capability, as well as the possibility to share additional data - personal profile, medical history and location information - across multiple platforms, including mobile Apps, messaging and social media. Both novel capabilities greatly enhance the communication dynamics between emergency services and citizens, namely citizens experiencing physical disability or impairment, and strongly improve situational awareness and emergency response. These NG capabilities are supported by the different NEXES results that are clearly beyond the state-of-the-art, namely the NEXES System and Apps, the user requirements, reference scenarios and key performance indicators now fitted for NGES, and the NEXES Campaigns of Demonstration featuring and validating the performance of NEXES as the first end-to-end NGES reference implementation.
NEXES’s combination of richer communications, additional emergency-related information and enhanced location information enables network operators to route faster the emergency calls to the most appropriate PSAP and emergency services to receive more accurate location data and to rapidly dispatch the most appropriate emergency response. NEXES-enabled procedures positively affect the emergency pre-response and response phases and attain significant service efficiency. An affordable solution for the paced transformation of emergency services, NEXES’s dramatic impact in the citizens and emergency services’ empowerment clearly generates social externalities.

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