Beijing to use mobile phone positioning in medical emergencies for Olympics

UPDATED: 15:20, June 24, 2007

As part of its efforts to improve medical services for the 2008 Olympics, Beijing will adopt a mobile phone positioning system that can give the exact location of people calling about a medical emergency.

The positioning system, already in pre-operation and expected to go into full service at the end of the year, can tell the location of emergency callers within a radius of a few dozen meters, according to Zhang Jincun, vice chairman of the Beijing Municipal Red Cross Society.

"The 999 emergency rescue center is cooperating with China Mobile -- which has the most wireless phone subscribers in the country -- in view of the 2008 Olympics. We have introduced foreign technologies to improve positioning so as to provide faster and more efficient treatment for patients," Zhang said.

999 is a medical emergency call number in China. The number 9 sounds like "Jiu" in Chinese which means "to save or rescue". The 999 emergency rescue center under the Beijing Municipal Red Cross Society now has around 70 ambulances and 62 stations scattered in the capital.

The center will increase the number of 999 ambulances to 130 before the Olympics, some of which will be used to carry out emergency medical treatment and transport services at Olympic venues.

Currently, the positioning system only works with China Mobile subscribers. The users of other wireless phone operators such as China Unicom and fixed phones do not have access to the service in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua


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