Cardiff-based Excelerate Technology is leading a consortium on behalf of NHS Ambulance Services to create a prototype cloud-based digital ambulance that can function as a remote consultation room.
The €5.7 million initiative is co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), ARTES 5G Strategic Program Line (SPL) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA).
The Hybrid Connex Digital Ambulance of the Future project aims to provide the UK ambulance industry with a resilient connectivity service that combines 4G, 5G and satellite connections, meaning the crew on board the vehicle will never be offline.
It will enable a range of applications to work together to dramatically improve the patient experience, while transforming much of the way ambulance services deliver ‘see and treat’ care.
With the ability of a connected ambulance to function as a remote consultation room, paramedics can access medical records remotely through a secure connection to the health and social care network, as well as call using specialist clinicians to assess patients’ conditions and provide care en-route to hospitals and medical centers.
In addition to Excelerate Technology, the consortium includes NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit (NHS Arden & GEM), network provider Vodafone and specialist technology companies Satellite Applications Catapult and Livewire Digital.
The prototypes will be tested at Satellite Applications Catapult’s Future Networks development center in Westcott, Buckinghamshire, where Vodafone is improving network coverage to facilitate research and development.
Bethan Evans, COO of Excelerate Technology, said: “We believe this will be a real game-changer in how ambulance services can provide the majority of patient care without unnecessary transportation to emergency departments, while offering a whole range of new on-site services such as procedures diagnostics, testing, diagnostic imaging and greater use of technology to enable remotely located specialists to treat patients immediately through telemedicine.
“There is now a significant opportunity to take the next steps towards better patient care and experience, improved operational capability through improved connectivity, and significant and measurable performance improvements across the healthcare system. urgency and urgency.
“These include reductions in avoidable transport to emergency services and the eradication of many unnecessary transfer delays.”
Currently in its “definition” development phase, the project will combine the enhanced bonding capabilities and network optimization of Livewire Digital’s software with Excelerate Technology’s Hybrid Communication Module (HCM) hardware platform and hybrid communications as a service (HCaaS).
Nick Gliddon, Chief Commercial Officer at Vodafone, said: “Connectivity is rapidly becoming the foundation of every part of our lives, but there are few use cases where the benefits are as obvious as in healthcare.
“Not only can connectivity support the transition to preventive medicine, but in the case of the connected ambulance, remote diagnosis, support and treatment could mean the difference between life and death.”