Minutis is a digital solution developed by the French Red Cross that permits performance management of emergency operations.
Following its participation in the rescue operation set up during the terror attacks of the 13th of November 2015 in Paris, a team of French Red Cross rescuers was faced with a lack of information that hampered the management and security of its operations. The victims’ profiles, the available resources and the number of volunteers in the area were poorly documented. As a French Red Cross volunteer rescuer and a participant in the November 2015 relief effort, Gérard Leymarie created Minutis, an application to help manage emergency operations. Today, the application can be used to support all types of interventions: emergency plans, emergency forecasting systems, exercises, social support for the homeless, etc.
Before being supported in 2020 by 21, the Social Innovation Accelerator of the French Red Cross, Minutis had already existed for five years and was used by some teams from the Spanish, Portuguese and Andorran Red Crosses. The support provided by 21 has notably helped to improve the application and its wider dissemination within the French Red Cross volunteer network.
Technical details & Operations
How the app works
Using a digital interface, data is encrypted and sent via an internet network to Minutis servers. The mobile app allows volunteers to be geolocated and to send pre-recorded messages or texts entered directly into the app. Users can also access Minutis from their computer or tablet with a 3G connection.
Minutis has a direct and secure connection with the authentication system of the French Red Cross. Minutis is available on iOS, Android and on PC.
Minutis provides complete operational coordination, helping to manage teams and their members. The app ensures effective monitoring of the status of teams (availability, in operation, evacuation in progress, arrival at the hospital, etc.).
An intervention management module allows the entry of intervention contact details, the location of volunteers, the assignment of resources ensuring the intervention and its subsequent monitoring. During the intervention, it is possible to add a “victim file” to the module to provide information on the victim’s health assessment, the care provided, etc. This form can be printed or forwarded by email.
The geolocation data of the first-aid operators are protected. The users connect to the app with their French Red Cross username and password. They can activate the geolocation functionality and subscribe to become part of a team. They have access to the map on which other volunteers, vehicles, victims, etc. are located. No geolocation history is archived: as soon as the app is switched off, the user disappears from the map.
Operational information is shared at two levels:
- Between local delegations ;
- A follow-up by the national operations centre for an operation undertaken in one or more regions.
- Public emergency operation centres ;
The monitoring of all events is automatic and unalterable, accessible to all, within a digital register (a folder where all operations are indicated). Users can fill in different events on the register at the same time. All the data entered, with the exception of the geolocation data, are visible to the operators for 48 hours, then they are automatically archived and remain accessible only to the app administrators.
The functionality offered by Minutis consists of:
- The management of resources (status, geolocation) and their composition (staff, vehicles, radio resources)
- Registration to ensure monitoring of all events
- Management of interventions
- Management of caseloads of victims
All of these features can be used:
- Simultaneously in the same operation (an emergency plan, etc.) ;
- Autonomously according to needs (management of resources for a logistics centre, management of information for a specific activity, etc.).
Deployment & Impact
There is currently no alternative to this tool on the market and the application helps optimise the time of interventions by :
- Improving operational management: upstreaming coordination and preparation, in particular emergency forecasting systems;
- The digitisation and simplification of activities: saving volunteers time in archiving and administration;
- Tracking and monitoring of people during an event or an emergency.
In addition, the use of Minutis is an effective selling point for event organisers because, by integrating GPS code into participants’ equipment, it enables them to help people in critical situations more quickly.
To deploy the app, Minutis decided to rely on a community of ambassadors. Today, 18 Minutis ambassadors have been trained to implement, train and monitor the rollout of the application in the territories covered. During the health crisis, the number of Minutis users has increased from 6,000 to 18,000 and traffic has increased sevenfold. This was made possible thanks to the availability of the app to major French actors in the emergency field. For example, the Order of Malta and French Civil Protection have been provided with the app.
In order to finance the solution, Minutis team is considering asking future users to contribute to the costs of technical development.