MASTERCLASSING

O2 in “Smart Ambulance” trial using 5G tech

David Murphy

O2 will provide connectivity for a new “Smart Ambulance” at Millbrook Proving Ground this month, as part of a trial that has the potential to revolutionise patient diagnosis, transport and treatment.

The project will involve equipping a standard ambulance with state-of-the-art devices and connectivity to create a Smart Ambulance that will simulate 5G connectivity, transforming the vehicle into a unique remote consultation room.

The trial is being developed at Millbrook’s Proving Ground – a vehicle testing facility in Bedford that will help O2 develop and safely test the new system before it is deployed on the public network, replicating real world 5G capabilities.

O2 is partnering with Samsung for the devices, Visionable for the video collaboration software and Launchcloud for the asset tracking and compliance check elements. The combined expertise will equip the vehicle with a range of cutting-edge technology, including Visionable’s video and voice collaboration platform; unlimited participants and data feeds for live conferencing; Visionable’s patented pixel-for-pixel picture quality (allowing for clearer and more accurate use in medical scenarios i.e. scans); Launchcloud’s data collection app with automation, reporting and communication tools; Launchcloud’s API Integration with many applications including Salesforce, OneDrive and Microsoft Dynamics; Dynamic forms on tablets; and Samsung’s fastest S-series device to date – the Galaxy S10 5G.

The group will work together to trial the latest monitoring and remote consultation technology to enable paramedics to conduct on-board treatments through mobile expert consultation. It is hoped the trial will demonstrate how Smart Ambulances can empower paramedics to treat more people with more ailments than currently possible and ease the strain on hospital resources by reducing the number of patients taken to hospital.

The trial itself will simulate an emergency call out, allowing paramedics to conduct checks, collect data and communicate with consultants remotely using on-board equipment. The paramedics will then be able to diagnose patients and recommend the appropriate treatment and next actions.

O2 is currently providing the devices and connectivity for a similar trial involving six ambulances at the East of England Ambulance Trust, led by Visionable, and funded by the UK's innovation agency Innovate UK.

Visionable and Launchcloud are part of the Wayra family, which is the start-up accelerator owned by O2’s parent company, Telefonica.

Lynda Sibson, stroke telemedicine manager at the East of England Stroke Telemedicine Stakeholder Partnership said: “When someone has a stroke, every minute counts. We have been successfully working with Visionable to bring critical stroke care to patients wherever they are, bringing life-saving treatment and diagnosis to thousands of people across the East of England. Extending this type of care into Smart Ambulances is an exciting next step in critical and pre-hospital emergency care. Being able to bring experts to patients regardless of their location will help save lives, while reducing some of the strain on clinicians and the NHS.”

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