In-Q-Tel’s Dan Hanfling, Tara O’Toole: Gov’t Must Invest in Next-Gen Emergency Response Tech

Jeff Brody

In-Q-Tel executives Dan Hanfling and Tara O’Toole have said that the U.S. “risks being unprepared” for catastrophic events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, epidemics and bioattacks by failing to integrate new capabilities into emergency response technologies.

Hanfling and O’Toole wrote in an opinion piece published Monday on The Hill that artificial intelligence can aid in the management of resources, while advanced telehealth platforms can support healthcare efforts in remote locations or mobile populations.

They also cited data collection and information management systems as key technologies for tracking resources, equipment and people in the event of a disaster. First responders and the general public can also leverage such platforms to make use of electronic health records and crowdsourced information.

“Government must be a part of these networks because the technologies needed to manage large-scale catastrophes and outbreak epidemics — vaccines, medicines, diagnostic tools, data systems — are unlikely to be commercial moneymakers, despite being essential to U.S. national security,” the two executives noted.

Hanfling serves as In-Q-Tel’s vice president of technical staff, while O’Toole is a senior fellow and executive vice president at the company.

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