Enjoy the Second NEXES Newsletter!

The NEXES RIA has just completed its first year of work and what an incredible year it has been!

NEXES has successfully established the basis for its second year of development: the NEXES End-User Requirements are completed, the NEXES Key Performance Indicators have been identified and the pan-European emergency Apps standard has been thoroughly analysed to ensure NEXES’s compliance.

Moreover, NEXES has attained its second Milestone, by creating the NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework, which will enable to test and assess the performance of NEXES solutions as well as of any other reference implementation of next generation emergency services. As such, the NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework is a key asset to reinforce the European standardization effort towards the next generation 112 emergency services!

The NEXES partners have indeed been quite active in the collaboration with European and international standardisation and regulatory bodies. NEXES accompanied the recent publication of the final report of the ETSI STF 489 on the use of Total Conversation for Emergency Services and the invitations for NEXES to participate in the DG CONNECT Workshop on 112 Numbering Issues and the 13th Meeting of the Project Team Emergency Services are excellent examples of how NEXES innovations and vision are relevant benchmarking on the path towards creating next generation emergency services.

In this edition of the NEXES Newsletter, we present you a selection of articles and news that highlight the accomplishments of the NEXES Consortium. With a special focus on accessibility features and key performance indicators, NEXES is paving its way forward as a cutting-edge research and innovation action.

We kindly invite you to find out more about NEXES at http://nexes.eu.

Marco Manso
NEXES Coordinator

NEXES Invited to the European Regulatory Authorities Meeting

NEXES Innovations are Key to European Regulation Effort on Emergency Communications

The NEXES Consortium announces the invitation by the President of the Working Group Numbering and Networks (WG NaN) to participate at their 13th Meeting of Project Team Emergency Services (PT ES), a discussion group dealing with the many aspects relevant for the modernisation of emergency services, including the adoption of IP, multimedia and location improvement.

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This invitation follows the presentation the NEXES Consortium has made on December last at the DG CONNECT’s “Advanced Numbering Systems for Communications Services in the Digital Single Market” Workshop. At this meeting, European policy-makers and telecommunications operators became aware of NEXES’s advances in the integration of new IP-enabled technologies in emergency services and the impact on routing, prioritisation, bandwidth and quality of service aspects.

At the PT ES Meeting, the NEXES Coordinator Marco Manso presented the latest developments of the Action, whereas the NEXES Location and Pan-European Mobile Emergency Application (PEMEA) expert Bertrand Casse focused his address on the definition of the pan-European standard for emergency Apps and the improvements on emergency calls’ location. The expert audience, including representatives from the European Commission and regulatory bodies across Europe, was highly interested in NEXES’s evolution and insisted on a continuous interaction between NEXES and the PT ES members, who were then invited to join the NEXES End-users Advisory Board.

“NEXES has trailed a solid path towards the integration of IP-technologies for the modernisation of emergency services. We expect that the synergies with the PT ES group will help the effort to create a new regulatory framework for emergency communications”, said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation at RINICOM UK and NEXES Coordinator.

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The Emergency Exercise at the NEXES Accessibility Workshop

The first NEXES Exercise was conducted as part of the NEXES Workshop on Accessibility, hosted by the European Union of the Deaf and Omnitor in Sheveningen, The Hague, on May 19th.

The Workshop addressed the theme of accessibility in emergency response. As well as the members of the NEXES Consortium, 45 members of the European Union of the Deaf were present, including the presidents of numerous national deaf associations. As such, the Workshop represented an unprecedented opportunity to engage directly with members of the deaf community, and to secure valuable feedback on their experiences of dealing with emergency services, and on the advancements considered by the NEXES Research and Innovation Action. Their position as leaders of national organisations, and as EUD members, means that they are also the individuals best placed to offer insight in to the broader social, political and cultural issues facing their community, which may in turn impact on their relationship with emergency services.

The deaf community currently experiences a variety of barriers in accessing and communicating with emergency services. There is considerable variation in available communication methods between different regions and countries, and those options that are available (e.g. SMS, fax, calls via relay services, pre-registrations, dedicated numbers to memorise) do not provide the fast and reliable access necessary for equality of access and effective emergency response.

For the hearing members in the room, the NEXES Workshop and Exercise were a fascinating experience: to be in a room full of individuals engaged in lively debate in complete silence was an interesting experience! And the reliance on interpreters for coordination and dialogue also gave an insight, however brief and incomplete, into the challenges facing those who experience impediments to communication in their daily lives.

The Exercise itself took the form of a ‘walk through’ of an emergency response scenario involving a terrorist attack on a mass transit system, delivered in sign-language by Lisa Åström of Omnitor, and Mark Wheatley and Frankie Picron of EUD, with designated intervals for facilitated group discussion. This format was decided upon due to the logistics of facilitating participation and discussion with the majority of participants communicating in sign-language, with considerable variation between different national sign languages, and with some of the participants relying on text transcription, aside from sign language and voice interpretation.

Discussion topics focused on the currently available communications options and any associated impediments to communication, as well as the proposed alternatives considered by NEXES, and their advantages and / or limitations. Topics were not overly proscriptive however, and free and creative discussion was encouraged and enthusiastically engaged in!. The exercise scenarios were written from a variety of perspectives (e.g. victim, bystander, concerned citizen) which provided a fruitful means of encouraging participants to think about the topics in the context of the broadest possible range of situations.

Careful consideration was given to the nature of the scenario prior to the exercise, and whether it would be potentially upsetting to participants. The consensus was that it is important for exercises to be as relevant and realistic as possible, but participants were briefed as to the nature of the scenario before the exercise commenced and given the opportunity to withdraw then, or at any point thereafter, if they so wished. As it turned out, the response to the scenario was extremely positive, including from participants who had first-hand experience of the recent attacks in Brussels and who considered such exercises a valuable means of sharing their experiences and the learning they gained from the events they had been involved in.

The overall response to the Exercise was extremely positive too. Despite the exercise running for nearly an hour and a half, several participants said they would have liked it to last longer! Discussion was extremely animated, and all participants engaged thoughtfully and enthusiastically. The feedback gathered was invaluable, and provides a fascinating insight in to the challenges facing the deaf community in their interactions with emergency services, and in to their requirements for the Next Generation of Emergency Services.

The feedback contributed by participants is therefore of great value to the NEXES Action. Among the more specific responses and suggestions were some broader considerations that may not be readily apparent to non-deaf individuals. For example, that fact that deaf people rely on visual communication, regardless of whether they have sign language as their first language, or whether they primarily lip-read. Such considerations are extremely important when considering how to best communicate information to deaf end-users in emergency situations. They also have broader applications, for example in communicating with tourists and early migrants who cannot speak the native language of the country they are in. This highlights the fact that accessibility is not simply a matter of developing solutions targeted at specific end-user groups, but rather necessitates the promotion of universal accessibility by employing technologies and processes which facilitate access for the greatest range of end-users.

Of relevance was also the participant’s emphasis on the accuracy of information sent by emergency services, the ability to verify the provenance of information, and how recent it is. Likewise suggestions about the simplicity of functionality e.g. the utility of a ‘one touch’ system, accessible when a device screen is locked, the value of tutorials on emergency preparedness and first aid, and of clear mapping functions that can highlight areas of danger / safety. All these suggestions are equally applicable to hearing end-users and highlight the fact that, in addition to the specific requirements of deaf end-users, there is also a great deal of commonality in end-user requirements, and the functionality developed on the basis of deaf end-user requirements could also be of benefit to others.

In addition to highlighting areas of commonality between end-users, the feedback further highlighted the diversity of the deaf community, and the need for emergency organisations and their partners to be attentive to the heterogeneous nature of end-user groups. A prime example of this was found in the participants’ views on issues of privacy. Whilst some participants expressed concern at the sharing of personal information with emergency services, some of the younger participants actually suggested the use of microchip implants that could automatically transmit personal data! Similarly, some participants stressed the need for the continued use of fax for elderly citizens, whilst others floated the idea of holograms and telepathy being employed in the future! Such wonderfully outlandish suggestions represent the extreme of the discrepancy between what is currently possible and what may be envisaged (or expected?!) by end-users. Science-fiction aside, they remind us of how far behind contemporary technology much emergency communication is. Some participants also referenced existing technologies such as Google Glasses, and the need for emergency services to be aware of emergent technology which may replace or supplement the current reliance on Smartphones and Tablets, and which will entail its own challenges in terms of accessibility and end-user requirements. They also remind us of the diversity of end-user opinions that NEXES will consider in order to best meet the needs of citizens. Fortunately there is plenty of ground between fax machines and holograms for NEXES to explore!

Participants also highlighted the broader challenges faced by the deaf community in emergency situations, most notably the fact that the challenges are not simply present in the initial contact but persist throughout subsequent interactions with First Responders and other emergency personnel. Most obvious among these is the lack of training among emergency services personnel on how to communicate with deaf people. A more specific challenge highlighted was the fact that in a dark, and / or chaotic environment a deaf casualty may not hear First Responders and may thus be unaware of their presence. In such a situation, it was suggested that an alarm / beacon function as part of the App could be of value. Such considerations highlight the need, emphasised by many of the participants, for a holistic approach to accessibility in emergency response, encompassing education (of both citizens and emergency services personnel), response and bilateral communication and interaction, within which NEXES could play a vital role.

Overall, the NEXES Exercise was a great success, highlighting both the vital importance of end-user expertise in the Action and the commitment of the Consortium partners to the Action’s success. Although we may be far from the futuristic stage envisaged by some participants, the NEXES Research and Innovation Action nevertheless represents an important and innovative effort in advancing the possibilities for a truly universal, democratic and inclusive emergency service, and this first Exercise has certainly validated this effort.

The NEXES Key Performance Indicators

The NEXES Action aims to assess the impact of the adoption of Internet-enabled technologies by emergency services throughout Europe and even beyond Europe. Emergency services are quite different, due to their location and organisation.
How to assess any impact given very different subjects?

NEXES is a Research and Innovation Action about NEXt generation Emergency Services. Emergency services comprise fire brigades, police organisations, ambulance services and possibly other search and rescue organisations: services provided by the government for the protection, safety and security of its citizens. Emergency services situated in a city have goals such as an ambulance must arrive at the incident location within 10 minutes of calling. Emergency services situated in the countryside may have different goals, perhaps an arrival time of 20 minutes is required. Each country, within Europe and beyond, has a similar, yet different culture and organisation of its emergency services.

Emergency services that adopt new communication capabilities change. Part of the puzzle is being able to compare a ‘previous’ and ‘current’ emergency service. This difference within emergency services are a challenge for NEXES. NEXES strives to provide a set of key performance indicators – that is, evaluations of the performance – of emergency services that are about the results of adopting Internet-enabled technologies. These key performance indicators must assess ‘the impact’ of using the new technological possibilities.

And that’s where the challenge lies. How to assess the impact of the new technological possibilities, if the ‘subjects’ are similar, yet different? How to assess ‘before’ and ‘after’ the adoption of new technologies, and evaluate the gains? And how can key performance indicators help?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a well-known instrument to assess organisational performance. NEXES investigates the use of KPIs to assess the impact of its beyond state-of-the-art solutions for emergency services in different countries. Another issue with KPIs became apparent when exploring the application of KPIs within NEXES. Can we use one set of KPIs for all emergency services? This makes sense: by defining one (albeit) large set of KPIs, it becomes possible to assess the impact of the new Internet-enabled technologies, compare the new performances of emergency services and ultimately give compliments to emergency services that implement these new technologies.

However, soon it became apparent that the ‘one size fits all’ approach was not deemed useful at all by emergency services. As a result, the “one-size-fits-all” approach to KPIs was abandoned. A creative solution is needed, one that is fair, respectful and motivating.

The standard structure of one KPI is to measure a single effect accompanied by a certain target value, e.g. “arrival time of first responders at incident location should be less than 10 minutes”, or “average call waiting time should be less than 10 seconds”. The situation unfolds that traditional KPIs are not easily applied to multiple, heterogeneous organisations. Emergency services are organised differently and each has their own plan for implementation of NEXES solutions. So, how can a KPI be defined more flexibly so that it can accommodate the differences between emergency services?

NEXES solution lies in decoupling effects from KPIs, by describing a common denominator in the KPI which is to be specified in detail in the effect measurements by the single, different parties. A flexible KPI is in practice based on multiple effect measurements by the partaking organisations. And the relevant effect measurements can be tailored to their specific situation.

Within the NEXES Action, we used this idea to define flexible NEXES KPIs. First, a set of 11 KPIs is defined and grouped into categories ranging from Emergency Calls to the Coordination of Response Activities and Customer Satisfaction, where each KPI is mandatory. That means each emergency service must have a score for all KPIs. A KPI is not anymore defined as a single effect, rather each flexible KPI is dependent on multiple effect measurements, currently 58. The score of a KPI can be calculated by aggregating the scores for the relevant and tailored effect measurements.

The approach chosen by NEXES is thus to guarantee the autonomy of emergency services. Here, ‘autonomy’ refers to the ability that an emergency service governs itself, makes its own plans, and decides when and how to adopt specific NEXES solutions. Any approach that limits the autonomy of emergency services is destined to fail.
The autonomy of emergency services is guaranteed in two ways. First, by requiring any emergency service to select those effect measurements that are relevant to their situation. Second, by allowing an emergency service to tailor the relevant effect measurements to their specific situation. Furthermore, NEXES requires that all of these decisions and adaptations are made visible. Having these aspects visible makes it possible to compare emergency services’ adoption of NEXES solutions: the original reason for introducing KPIs.

Within NEXES, an effect measurement has a structured description. An emergency service is invited to ‘fill in the blanks’, thereby tailoring the effect measurement to their situation. For example, consider effect measurement #31, which measures Incident Location Accuracy. This effect measurement measures the discrepancy between the incident location determined by the emergency services’ operators versus the actual location of the incident. It is expected that using GPS-based location information from callers, the incident location becomes known more accurately than using the cellular base-stations triangulation algorithms, especially in more rural areas.

Furthermore, emergency services can specify how important certain effect measurements are when calculating their KPIs’ scores. The mechanism provided for this, is that the score of an effect measurement gets an associated importance before aggregation into the KPI score.

For each emergency service, we cannot ‘equalise’ the measurement methods: that would bring us back onto the “one size fits all” path. The measurement methods of the emergency services will be assumed to be different, although these may be similar. Based on the resulting measured values, the evaluation by emergency services is tailored to their own needs. This tailoring is what we can re-use: we can use the tailoring of any one emergency services and apply it to itself (e.g. after a change) or another emergency service (e.g., out of curiosity). So we can compare the KPIs’ scores from the perspective of any emergency service by applying tailoring to many emergency services including itself after a change. It also becomes possible to re-compute the scores for all emergency services, given new insights in e.g. the relative importance of specific measurement methods, or using similar reference values, or any other reason.

The flexibility of the KPIs and effect measurements has shown to be beneficial (1) to guarantee autonomy of emergency services in the application and tailoring of the KPIs, (2) to enable structured comparison of results of the before and after situation of an emergency service, and (3) to foster exploration and understanding of the NEXES impact by changing and re-computing scoring formula and scores of KPIs for (all) emergency services.
NEXES’s challenge was to find an alternative approach to replace the ‘one size fits all’ KPI-approach. NEXES adhered to the ‘design for change’ adage and created the principle of flexible KPIs. This flexibility is achieved through the tailoring of relevant effect measurements and scoring importance.

Is the current set of NEXES effect measurements, 58 in total, finished? Not likely. The NEXES Action is set to conduct a number of exercises in which these KPIs will be applied to emergency services in Slovenia, Romania and Turkey that implement some or all of the NEXES Internet-enabled technologies. These exercises will also yield insight in the usefulness and practical applicability of the current KPIs and effect measurements. It may even lead to changes to the KPIs: that is a welcome effect of accumulating progressive insight. The net result will be an improved set of flexible KPIs that is useable by emergency services throughout Europe and beyond.

Moving forward, NEXES will gain experience with applying flexible KPIs and explore the opportunities to improve the current NEXES KPIs and effect measurements to the benefit of next generation emergency services across the world.

NEXES Attains Its Second Milestone !

The NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework Sets New Advances Towards Next Generation Emergency Services

The NEXES Consortium announces the attainment of the Second Milestone in their research and innovation effort: the establishment of the NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework brings NEXES a step closer to making next generation emergency services a reality.

At the Milestone 2 Meeting held in May 20th 2016, the NEXES partners unanimously agreed that the present status of NEXES warrants the reach of Milestone 2, as the Consortium defines the first iteration of the NEXES open Testing Regime and Validation Framework, considering the end-to-end communication between citizens and emergency services. The NEXES Testing Regime and Validation Framework aims to empower the assessment of the value and benefits of next generation emergency services as they embrace total conversation, enhanced location and improved interoperability capabilities. The NEXES partners also acknowledged that this successful evaluation of the NEXES effort has been possible because of the work performed during the last year, creating the user requirements for the next generation emergency services, defining the pan-European standard for emergency Apps and drafting the initial NEXES Exercise plan.

“The NEXES Consortium is proud of its leadership role in the development of next generation emergency services. NEXES, a reference implementation of next generation emergency services, is valuable for first responders, emergency services and citizens,” said Marco Manso, Director of Innovation of RINICOM and NEXES Coordinator. “Our advanced Testing Regime and Validation Framework is a key component of NEXES to transform emergency services. We are gathering feedback and contributions from our end-users as we develop our solution for next generation emergency services and we truly believe that NEXES will help citizens to reach emergency services in case of need and assist the performance of emergency services.”

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International Experts Assemble at the NEXES Workshop on Accessibility

Vivid conversation on next generation emergency services in a room full of silence

The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility held on May 19th addressed the key questions and challenges associated with the design and development of accessibility features for next generation emergency services.

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Organised by the European Union of the Deaf and OMNITOR, the Workshop allowed international experts from across Europe and Turkey to understand the NEXES vision for truly universal, democratic and inclusive emergency services. The experts reviewed specific case studies where accessibility to the deaf and hard of hearing communities has been adopted and discovered the many benefits of the CAT112, the emergency App from the Catalonia Emergency Service that renders these services accessible for citizens with speech impairment and hearing disabilities by using multi-channel communication.

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Drawing on these cases, experts shared their own personal experiences witnessing the attacks in Brussels and London and earthquakes in Japan and focused on the issues of communication barriers and lack of information. They combined their expert knowledge to engage in a fictional Emergency Exercise that encouraged the vivid discussions to explore and find solutions to issues currently challenging accessibility in emergency services in Europe and beyond.

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The NEXES Workshop on Accessibility is part of the overall dissemination and engagement process towards the adoption of next generation emergency services that make accessibility a top priority. Work and results from the meeting will feed into the NEXES RIA development process and future implementation of the NEXES System and Apps.

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NEXES Presented to the European Deaf Community

Dovenschap Interested in NEXES Proposal to Create Inclusive Emergency Services

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The NEXES Consortium was formally invited by the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) and the Dutch Association of the Deaf, Dovenschap – doof, slechthorend, doofblind & gebarentaal, to present the Action’s innovations and vision to create inclusive emergency services at the Associations’ Seminar 2016, at the Europa Hotel Scheveningen, in The Hague, on May 20th.

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The EUD/Dovenschap Seminar 2016 dedicated a full day to the discussion of European Deaf Innovations: Best Practises and NEXES starred as the top European research and innovation action addressing the needs of the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired communities in the framework of next generation emergency services. Led by Rinicom, the NEXES Action has the European Union of the Deaf as a main partner and the NEXES Accessibility Advisor, responsible to issue recommendations on the accessibility features of NEXES and to establish fruitful synergies with the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired communities across Europe.

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The Action’s achievements were briefly presented to an audience of about one hundred delegates from across Europe, with a special highlight to the incorporation of the NEXES’s innovations in total conversation, improved user interface and automated messages and alerts into a new emergency App for citizens that provides a direct link to the right emergency service and brings citizens experiencing physical disability and special needs to the frontline of the dialogue for a universal, democratic and inclusive emergency service in Europe.

The intervention at the EUD/Dovenschap Seminar 2016 provided the NEXES Consortium with a formidable opportunity to interact with an experienced audience, specifically envisaged in NEXES’s targeted dissemination effort, which aims to create awareness and engage relevant stakeholders to the development and adoption of NEXES’s innovations across Europe.

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The NEXES Corner Makes a Buzz

NEXES Captures All Attentions at the EENA Conference 2016

eena_dwThe NEXES Action made quite the headlines at the EENA Conference 2016. No doubt the next generation emergency services are a hot topic at the moment, but to have a research and innovation action capturing all the different perspectives required to make next generation emergency services a reality is the actual game changer!

From April 6th to 8th, the NEXES innovations were broadly presented and debated, ensuing interesting dynamics with the many emergency services professionals visiting the NEXES Corner at Deveryware’s booth. Total conversation, enhanced location, improved PSAP systems and new Apps fostering improved communication between emergency services and citizens, including those experiencing disability, impairment or special needs, were at the top of the discussions, conducted by NEXES partners: the Emergency Ambulance Physicians Association (AAHD), Deveryware, the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), INSTA, OMNITOR, Teamnet and the University of Ljubljana. As NEXES proceeds to implement the users’ requirements into an ambitious functional system, the involvement of experts from emergency services and citizens is key to the Action’s success. And the NEXES End-Users Advisory Board is actively engaged with the ongoing NEXES developments, providing insightful experience and know-how so that the Action’s results attain the expected impact in fostering the adoption of IP-enabled technologies by emergency services.

eena_aahdNEXES’s participation at the EENA Conference 2016 is part of the NEXES Consortium’s dissemination effort, focusing on building awareness to the NEXES RIA and fostering the engagement of key stakeholders. It has also been a relevant opportunity to disseminate the upcoming NEXES Workshop on Accessibility, on May 19th in The Netherlands.

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NEXES Produces A First Scientific Paper

The Paper Addresses the Role of IoT in Emergency Services

The NEXES RIA produced a first scientific paper dedicated to the application of the Internet of Things (IoT), telematics and smart devices as part of the technological array that improve emergency situational awareness for citizens and emergency services. The paper was subject to an independent peer-review process and accepted for presentation at the 1st International Workshop on Interoperability, Integration and Interconnection of Internet of Things Systems (I4T 2016), jointly held with the 1st IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IOTDI), from April 4th to 6th 2016, in Berlin.

Following a year of intense research and innovation effort, Rinicom, Teamnet, the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems and the Innovation Team of the West Yorkshire Police approached the Conference’s thematic by describing two emergency use cases where smart environments, enabled by telematics and smart devices, enhance the levels of situational awareness for both citizens and emergency services, empowering both to act with increased effectiveness, safely and in security. The paper also addresses several scientific challenges to the satisfaction of pressing user requirements on emergency management.

Before a large scientifically-oriented audience, NEXES’s advances in the introduction of telematics and smart devices in emergency services were broadly discussed, so that the participation at the I4T 2016 became the first contribution to the NEXES Consortium’s effort to communicate the scientific innovation results of NEXES, share the acquired novel knowledge and engage with the scientific community, as part of an integrated communication strategy.

To read the paper, please go to the OpenAIRE community at  https://zenodo.org/record/154656.

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NEXES Discussed At the ITS WG Human Factors Meeting

NEXES Contributes to Swedish standardisation work on Accessibility

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The NEXES innovations have been presented by OMNITOR to the Swedish Information Technology Standardisation (ITS) Working Group (WG) Human Factors and the ICT Accessibility Forum, in a meeting hosted by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority in Stockholm. These ITS groups are focused on usability and accessibility in information technology and they establish a direct link to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Human Factors (HF) work. At the moment, a special hot topic is the revision of a European Norm (EN) on Accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe.

NEXES’s presentation focused the specific approaches and technologies being currently addressed in the Action, namely the use of total conversation capabilities and the exchange of relevant information, namely the callers’ location and medical information. The subsequent discussion enabled participants to gain a better understanding of the current state of the Swedish market for accessible emergency services, as well as to share perspectives on the opportunity to consider NEXES’s novel approaches on human factors in the design and definition of applicable standards.

With a specialist-oriented audience of twenty experts, representing the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the Swedish Agency for Participation and the Swedish Association for the Deaf, this meeting represented also an opening for fostering networking and engagement through the NEXES End-Users Advisory Board. OMNITOR explained the Board’s fundamental role in the alignment of the NEXES effort with the emergency services’ and citizens’ needs and expectations, and extended an invitation for the present organisations to join this effort.