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Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) announces the foundation of its new spin-off Stokhos Emergency Mathematics. Stokhos provides software solutions which enable the proactive relocation of emergency services based on predictions of future demand. The company is based on research by CWI's Stochastics group and in cooperation with Delft University of Technology. On 14 September, Stokhos launches its first commercial product for the Flevoland ambulance region.
Vincent van den Brekel (CEO): "In the Netherlands an ambulance is expected to arrive at the scene within 15 minutes. In approximately 7% of all instances, however, the ambulance arrives late. Often this is caused by ambulance availability near the incident location at the time of an emergency call. Our new product arrives at a highly accurate time. Recent media coverage brought the strain on ambulance services to attention. Our product enables a substantial reduction in late arrivals."
Flevoland is the first region in which Stokhos' software will be fully implemented and the city of Amsterdam will follow suit in the coming months. The start-up signed a contract with GGD Flevoland after a successful pilot project. Van den Brekel: "The company is not only aiming at the Dutch ambulance market, but is also looking to expand its services to other countries and other fields, such as fire departments, police forces and taxi companies."
Stokhos develops algorithms designed to optimize the coverage of ambulances in a region. The software is capable of identifying patterns in ambulance demand based on demographic and historical data of emergency calls and factors such as weather and traffic. The new system translates this data into an optimal distribution of ambulances over the region. It recalculates this coverage of available ambulances after each emergency call and changes in available units, relocating ambulances proactively to the optimal location prior to new incidents. The algorithm-based software is a dynamic decision-support solution for dispatch center operators to improve the operational process significantly, resulting in more frequent timely arrivals, more saved lives and decreased healthcare costs.
Vincent van den Brekel: "Stokhos is unique in its sector. We are the first company in Europe that provides this service, and we are able to do so due to close cooperation between cutting-edge mathematics research and the field of emergency services. Our aim is to reduce the percentage of late arrivals of ambulances within the Netherlands by at least 50%, and enable a reduction of operating costs."
The establishment of spin-off companies such as Stokhos Emergency Mathematics is an important instrument for CWI to transfer technology and knowledge to society and industry. Stokhos is the 23rd spin-off company of CWI since the founding of computer builder Elektrologica in 1956. Recent other spin-offs include MonetDB Solutions (2013), Spinque (2010) and VectorWise (founded in 2008 and acquired by Actian Corporation in 2011). Stokhos was launched with help of a Take-Off Grant of Technology Foundation STW, which is aimed at accelerating innovations based on scientific research.
More information: www.stokhos.nl
Picture: Ambulance by night. Source: GGD Flevoland