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Omnia is an innovative health assessment system for first-responders that improves collaboration and communication in mass casualty incidents.

  • Paramedic using the Omnia system in a mass casualty scenario.

  • Research trip to a first-responder training facility.

    Research trip to a first-responder training facility.

  • Research trips, interviews, mockups & prototypes.

  • The wearable companion.

  • The assessment tag – easy to use, sustainable, accessible.

  • Paramedic checking a patient's vital signs.

What it does

Omnia is an innovative health assessment system for first-responders that enhances collaboration and communication in mass casualty incidents. It's modern camera technology speeds up the patient prioritization process, saving both time and lives.

Your inspiration

By observing first-responder training and conducting interviews, it became clear that the most challenging situation in terms of first-responder collaboration are mass casualty incidents. Paramedics, firefighters and police have to act fast in finding the most critical patients, prioritizing, “triaging” them and bringing them to the hospital as soon as possible. It needs a new system, simple enough to allow all first-responders to prioritize early, speed up the vital sign measurements done by paramedics, while at the same time being advanced enough to provide early information to other first-responders as well as the hospital.

How it works

Omnia is a two-part system: One is the companion, a device worn by the first-responder to measure vital signs, prioritize patients and document the process. The other is a new assessment tag that identifies the patient and creates a link to the collected data. The companion utilizes two cameras to conduct non-contact vital sign measurements on the patient. One is a visible light camera measuring the main vitals, such as pulse and blood pressure. It scans the patient's skin areas and detects the differences in blood flow, due to varying light absorption and reflection. This is already used in baby monitors and distanced measuring of infectious diseases. Additionally an infrared camera measures the patient’s body temperature. The tag is attached to the patient’s body, then the camera recognizes the tag code and priority colour (red, green, yellow) and adds a timestamp and paramedic ID to the digital record. This data is then immediately available to the hospital.

Design process

The topic was approached through a very user-centered design process, starting out with a trip to a first-responder training facility, where police-, ambulance- and firefighter students met in a joint two-day practice with real-life scenarios. Observing this, as well as taking part in an annual mass casualty practice for professional first-responders, was extremely helpful to get a feeling for the responsibilities and challenges the different groups face while working together. The collaboration with the local first-responders continued throughout the whole project. It helped clear questions during research and validate ideas through user-testings and interviews. Creative methods like acting out scenarios, user journey mappings and sketching scenarios were used to understand complicated collaborative actions and the stakeholders involved. To make early ideas more tangible, rough physical mockups served as an easy means for relevant concept discussions all throughout the project. Amongst other things, ergonomics and placement on the body could be tested. To present the final result a physical design model was made using rapid prototyping methods. To get an impression of the research feel free to watch the attached video.

How it is different

Omnia takes disaster response to the next level by applying modern camera technology in a completely new use case. The current paper triage system makes paramedics manually write down patient information, making documentation and updates time-consuming. With the help of the camera’s indication lights, Omnia speeds up the process by helping less medically trained personnel confidently triage at an early point. Arriving paramedics can then immediately tend to the ones most in need. Besides technical features, sustainability and human factors were considered. Instead of putting sensors directly onto the patient, Omnia, shifts the sensing technology completely onto the wearable, allowing for a simple, sustainable ID tag. It keeps the intuitive, analog aspect of the paper tag, while utilizing modern technology. On an aesthetic level, the camera modules are neatly integrated into a soft, protective body, giving it a friendly and professional appearance.

Future plans

Omnia aims to illustrate ways of improving emergency disaster response processes and inspire companies to further invest in this field. Since the current system is limited to primitive tools, the processes, decisions and actions taken on site are not documented properly, as it would be done in smaller scenarios. There is a lack of data that is needed to analyze and learn from such incidents, which in return, through improved first-responder education, can have a positive influence on the outcome of future incidents.


Omnia has been nominated as Student Runner Up in the Commercial Equipment category in the 2020 Core77 Design Awards.

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