Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

William F. Welsh, PhD

Committee Member

Hugh Semple, PhD

Committee Member

John Dugger, PhD

Committee Member

Joseph Scazzero, PhD

Committee Member

Suleiman Ashur, PhD

Abstract

This study employed location-allocation modeling and a geographic information system (GIS) to study the current placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in relationship to neighborhoods in Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia, and to determine the optimal locations for additional AEDs in the city. Using GIS to mathematically locate additional healthcare facilities for the placement of AEDs is more reliable than to select them using informed guesses. The objective of this research was to elaborate a mathematical and GIS model for placing AED devices so that people who need to use these devices in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, can access them within a time frame of three minutes or less, which is the international standard for such accessibility. The research employed street blocks as demand points; existing healthcare facilities, mosques, and schools as supply points; and the maximum coverage algorithm to model optimal locations for AED devices. Models were run for both vehicle and pedestrian travel times. Model results of current conditions indicated that 75% of household blocks were covered when vehicles were used to access AED sites, as compared to 9% of people when pedestrian travel to an AED is considered. Introduction of 1,371 mosques and 34 community colleges and universities as additional supply points for AEDs improved coverage to 94% for vehicular access, but only 34% for pedestrian traffic. Although mosques are considered to be focus points for Muslim communities, other facilities including, but not limited to, police stations, malls, primary and secondary schools, and playgrounds should be used to gain wider coverage. In addition, cluster analysis should be employed to avoid selecting AED supply points that are too close to each other and which are unlikely to improve accessibility. The study succeeded in elaborating a framework for conceptualizing the relationship between vehicular and pedestrian access to AEDs. It also demonstrates how GIS-based location-allocation modeling can be used for efficient placement of AEDs. The broad conceptual framework for AED placement used in this study has applicability to other countries in the Middle East.

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