SOTI Report Reveals Emergency Care is Suffering Due to 92% of Global Emergency Service Teams Experiencing Mobile Technology Challenges

More than half of emergency service workers experience device loss, revealing critical need for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

Mississauga, CANADA – April 25, 2024 – Mobile technology and devices are used daily by emergency service responders – from prevention and preparedness to response and recovery. However, 92% of first responders report issues with their mobile devices. Digital integration within the sector is desperately needed, otherwise it could be on its lifeline due to the lack of reliability and operation inefficiencies.  

SOTI's latest report, Digitizing the Frontline: Transformative Technologies in Critical Care, emphasizes technology's crucial role in front-line response, revealing operational challenges and opportunities for improvement. The findings underscore issues such as device downtime, delayed collaboration and reporting, highlighting the ongoing need for digitization in the emergency services sector. To address these issues, IT decision-makers must implement an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution that can remotely monitor and fix device issues, minimize disruptions in a matter of minutes and enable responders to stay focused on the emergency at hand.  

Technology Breakdowns: Imperative Challenges for Emergency Service Teams 

The report concluded that there are several fundamental technology failures emergency service teams cannot afford to experience. An outstanding 74% of global workers said the technology they use must improve to ensure faster response times. Additionally, 34% experienced delays accessing digital records related to incidents due to device and app issues, while 30% faced delays receiving basic data, such as location details. To make matters worse, 20% reported that resolving mobile device issues takes 30 minutes or more and significantly impacts critical events where swift decision-making is lifesaving. 

Frustrations have led more than half (53%) of frontline workers to use their own devices at work. This was even higher in Mexico (70%) and the U.S. (62%). Additionally, 15% reported devices being lost or stolen, and of those respondents, 53% said it happened at least once per week, leaving teams unable to coordinate efforts across locations or vulnerable to a potential data breach. 

Technology Breakdowns 

% of Emergency Service Workers Experiencing the Following Breakdowns Due to Any Device Issue 

% of Emergency Service Workers Experiencing the Following Breakdowns Due to Apps/Web Apps Not Working  

Delays in accessing my required information 



Increased stress levels for me/my team 



Increased time waiting for digital records relating to the incident/emergency 



Delays in data arriving for location details 



Delays to the start of working at the incident/emergency 



Having to wait for authorization 



Delays in my/my team’s ability to spend time on care is impacted  



Delays to accessing required equipment/medicines  




“Emergency service workers are experiencing the loss or theft of their mobile devices too frequently. This ongoing issue presents considerable challenges for the sector, as it compromises the security of patient data and increases the vulnerability of other endpoints to potential attacks via Wi-Fi networks and compromised passcodes,” said Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI. “On top of implementing a comprehensive EMM solution, emergency service organizations can enhance real-time remote device support and location visibility. Providing historical tracking of devices will help to reduce and troubleshoot issues, helping to minimize stress-inducing situations for frontline workers.” 

Transitioning From Pen and Paper: The Digital Evolution of Emergency Services 

The report found 97% of frontline workers still rely on traditional pen and paper methods, and 58% of those respondents use this antiquated process for their cases. Notably, countries such as Mexico (68%), the U.S. (65%) and France (65%) continue to use this practice to some extent. However, this approach poses significant risks, including the potential for lost or outdated information, while creating opportunities for human error. Despite the slow transition to mobile devices and applications, emergency service teams also typically have to share devices further enhancing the need for a solution where this can be done quickly, securely and easily from shift to shift. These devices include printers (73%), laptops (41%), rugged handhelds and tablets (57%) and traditional tablets (45%). 

Employee Morale and Technology Issues Must Be Strengthened 

Just as civilians depend on first responders during emergencies, frontline workers rely on technology. However, 38% of respondents say the issues encountered with devices lead to heightened stress levels for them and their team. Notably, Germany (50%) and Canada (45%) report the highest instances of increased stress. 

IT decision-makers must therefore act as quickly as possible and take the appropriate technological measures to increase the satisfaction of their employees by reducing avoidable stress factors with devices. This will improve the quality of their work and care provided to patients, as well as help recruit, train and retain staff, benefiting first responders and those seeking urgent help. 

"The ongoing shift from traditional pen and paper methods to digital management of emergency response data signifies a critical evolution in operational efficiency. Yet, it is imperative there is a seamless integration of digital solutions, particularly as first responders and their teams rely heavily on technology throughout every phase of an emergency compound by the fact that any delay in receiving data or device issue can significantly impact patient care,” concluded Anand.  

SOTI’s latest report, Digitizing the Frontline: Transformative Technologies in Critical Care, can be downloaded here. 

Report Methodology 
SOTI’s research was conducted between January 26 and February 14, 2024, via 900 self-completed interviews from nine markets around the world. All interviewees were emergency service workers. The markets represented are the U.S. (100), Canada (100), Mexico (100), the UK (100), Germany (100), France (100), Sweden (100), the Netherlands (100) and Australia (100).  

About SOTI 
SOTI is a proven innovator and industry leader for simplifying business mobility solutions by making them smarter, faster and more reliable. With SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions, organizations can trust SOTI to elevate and streamline their mobile operations, maximize their ROI and reduce device downtime. Globally, with over 17,000 customers, SOTI has proven itself to be the go-to mobile platform provider to manage, secure and support business-critical devices. With SOTI’s world-class support, enterprises can take mobility to endless possibilities. For more information, visit  

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