The EURAC Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine was founded in 2009 as the first research institute in this field. Mountain Emergency Medicine is a specialist area within Emergency Medicine. Its main aim is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of casualties and acutely ill patients in mountainous regions by raising the standard of Alpine emergency medicine to an internationally recognised 'evidence-based' level. This will lead to a rational basis for the allocation of resources in the field of medical rescue services in mountainous areas. Responsibilities of the Institute include the promotion, coordination and completion of scientific projects which will be published in peer-reviewed medical journals, as well as organising national and international training courses, workshops and conferences.
The main focus of the research embraces topics such as hypothermia and epidemiological investigations on the treatment of injuries and acute illnesses in difficult terrain, as well as the risks involved in the recovery and transportation of the casualties.