in a nutshell


Project HERO (Helpline for Emergency Response Operation) aims to provide the first real-time updated information system about emergency medical resources in Mumbai. It will create a central place to get information about the nearest emergency care facility with a vacant bed or blood that will help save precious minutes

It will give ONE emergency number to call or SMS and a single website for patients to get information about the nearest hospital with a vacant Intensive Care Unit Bed that has the required specialty care. You can also locate the closest blood bank with the right amount and type of blood or blood products like fresh frozen plasma or platelets or the various coagulation factors needed in an emergency situation.  

E.g.:- A user in Andheri who wants blood of type O negative, messages “O- Andheri” to the HERO number. Within seconds, the user would get a reply containing the names and contact numbers of five nearest blood banks with real time information of the number of units of O negative blood they have.


   "Had there been more co-ordination, the rescue operation would have been
smoother and more lives could have been saved… Several times we had to ferry patients from St. George Hospital to Cama and then to JJ Hospital losing precious time".
Dr Khazim Sayed (of Dial 1298 for Ambulance services) in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks .

Project HERO will form a critical component of the disaster management system of the city.The lack of co-ordination in times of mass emergencies like the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 or during natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, makes the emergency response system descend into chaos when it is needed the most. In the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks, Dr Khazim Sayed (of Dial 1298 for Ambulance services) was quoted as saying, “Had there been more co-ordination, the rescue operation would have been smoother and more lives could have been saved….Several times we had to ferry patients from St. George Hospital to Cama and then to JJ Hospital losing precious time”. His colleagues added, "Though the police were helping, a better response would have helped. We need a more powerful disaster management plan". The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of USA emphasizes that having a real-time information system to provide information regarding hospital bed availability and other emergency medical resource data is a vital part of a national disaster management plan.




working of hero  

Step 1: Ge
tting reliable, real-time data

Automating the patient admission systems in public hospitals:
The municipal hospitals in Mumbai still have manual patient admission systems. We will implement an easy to use computerized automated system, that will improve the overall quality of hospital management. These systems will also provide reliable, real-time data on ICU bed availability to project HERO.
Integrating existing patient admission systems in private hospitals:

Hospitals that already have computerized patient information systems will be linked to Project HERO .
Automating blood bank inventory systems :

A bar coded inventory system will be introduced in blood banks that are currently using a manual system. Each blood storage unit will have a bar code that will make it easy to check in and check out different types of blood or blood products. If the blood bank has a computerized system already in place, like many private blood banks have; our database will be integrated with its system.

Hero central database:

We will maintain a centralized database with profiles of the hospitals and blood banks that are partners

Let us Be Better Prepared
in the HERO program. Each profile will contain details such as address, facilities offered, total number of beds, ICU beds, profile of the doctors etc.
Every time a patient is admitted to or discharged from intensive care, the hospitals will update the HERO system real time. Blood banks will also update the information every time new blood units are available or blood units are used. Therefore, HERO will have a centralized, credible, relevant and real time information on medical emergency facilities available closest to you.


Step 2: Making the right information accessible to everyone .
We will provide easily-accessible, reliable, real-time updated information on the availability of emergency medical resources in Mumbai. Information such as the availability of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds at hospitals and blood units at blood banks will be made available to the public through a
1)SMS-based auto-reply system

 A user will send a simple SMS to the HERO number, indicating what information they are looking for (ICU bed or blood) and their location. The response SMS will give a list of five nearest hospitals that have unoccupied ICU beds of the particular specialty  and the hospitals' addresses and phone numbers. Users looking for information about blood will get a SMS with the names, phone numbers and addresses of the 5 nearest blood banks with real time information about the number of units they have of the required blood group or blood products.

Why SMS?

Internet penetration in India is one of the lowest in the world with only 7 percent of the overall population having access to the Internet. But over 90 percent of the people in Mumbai have access to a mobile phone. This makes the service accessible to people across all socio-income levels, both men and women and it can be easily used by anyone, across a spectrum of education levels. If there is a change in status of the ICU bed or blood availability in the one hour after query, we will SMS back noting the change of status and also give more information about the next available ICU bed or blood bank.

 2)A dedicated  phone number (i.e. a 911 for finding medical emergency services):

A user can call the dedicated number to obtain a list of nearest hospitals with vacant ICU beds or list of five nearest blood banks and real time information regarding the number of units they have of the required blood group.


The same information can be accessed on the website. Additional information will be available on the website such as facilities offered, total number of beds, total number of ICU beds, the profiles of the doctors etc.


If there is a change in the status of ICU bed and blood availability in the first hour after query, you will receive immediate intimation of the same through a sms or phone call and also detailed information of the new updated status.



- Patients, family members, relatives: If you or your loved one is facing a medical emergency, there is no time to look at phone books, do random google searches or call up friends. A dedicated emergency response number with real time information would eliminate the deadly delays that occur when trying to find the right help. 

- Doctors and health care staff: If a patient is in a critical condition and has to be transferred to another hospital, it is vital to find out a place with the right facilities and resources to deal with the patient. 

- Emergency response coordinators: In the event of a mass emergency like a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, HERO would help to ensure that the available emergency medical resouces are optimally allocated.


Project HERO has got the approval from the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai and the Director of Major Municipal Hospitals in Mumbai to conduct an eight month pilot project in all the ICUs and blood banks of Sion hospital, one of the largest tertiary hospital in Mumbai. Following the successful completion of the pilot, HERO will be expanded to all other hospitals and blood banks.


The Additional municipal commissioner of Mumbai has given the go ahead to expand HERO’s operations to KEM & Nair hospital for all the ICU units and the blood banks.

Update from Sion Hospital:
Given the ambit of the project, getting approvals has not been easy. But our project leader for HERO, Mr. Bipin Diwaker has been working very hard to get things rolling. Our software and hardware for the ICU and blood bank pilot is ready. Training of hospital personnel is also complete. We now await finishing touches to the OPD building admission counter room to start the automated computerized admission processes. The process of implementing bar coded systems in the blood bank has begun. In addition to providing real time information about availability of blood in the blood banks, the bar coded systems being introduced will also ensure that out dated blood is never given out in an emergency. The date of the blood collection will also be included in the bar coded system so that only good blood is given out to be used.

Expansion of HERO to tier II cities:
Our ultimate vision is to expand to all tier I and tier II cities of the country. To realize that vision, we are working on expanding HERO to Nashik that will serve as a pilot for other tier II cities in the country. Seeing the importance of HERO, several prominent citizens have expressed their support. We hope to begin implementation of HERO in Nashik by the end of 2011.


Public launch in 2012 after the completion of the pilot.

1st year: Roll out in all municipal hospitals and blood banks.

2nd year: Include all major private hospitals.

3rd year: Extend to the unregulated private ICU sector. Appropriate guidelines will be followed to establish the necessary standard of care that a small private sector ICU must be able to provide for it to be included in the HERO system.

Long term goal for project HERO:

We hope to extend project HERO services to all the tier I and tier II cities of India in the not so distant future.