At a time of intense pressure on UK ambulance services, it is imperative to identify innovative solutions that can significantly impact ambulance performance metrics, improve clinical outcomes, and enhance patient experiences of their treatment and care.
Permanent, unbreakable network connectivity (regardless of location) combined with a range of innovative healthcare applications using telemedicine principles, could be one key component of a new, digitally transformed urgent and emergency care system.
A solution that eases pressure on local ambulance services, reduces unnecessary conveyance to hospital emergency departments, helps tackle handover delays, enables patients to quickly access the specialist care they genuinely need based on their condition and keeps them closer to home.
A solution that allows the simultaneous sharing of patient information, medical device data and live video feeds via ‘see what I see’ technology, enabling accurate remote triage and thereby safely reducing the number of avoidable ambulance conveyances.
Tried and tested
Lulworth First Responders – volunteers with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) who had traditionally struggled with poor cellular connectivity in parts of the county – have already seen first-hand how working with technology and connectivity partner Excelerate Technology has enabled them to benefit from 5G capabilities and better respond to patients.
The technology company fitted the Lulworth First Responders’ vehicle with a router and Excell, its cellular optimisation product, which allowed the first responder team to connect to the new 5G network infrastructure that was installed in Dorset thanks to £8m of funding from Dorset Council, industry partners and the Department for Digital, Media and Sport.
The router allowed for the transfer of critical data between Lulworth First Responder devices and SWASFT teams, along with other off-site locations that may support their response to patients. And it is the success of this small project that may hold the key to much bigger opportunities for the wider NHS.
Connected Emergency Services solution
This solution is here now. It is being piloted and tested across parts of the NHS and could radically improve ambulance service performance times (enabling services to get back to consistently meeting their standard targets) as well as other metrics listed in the NHS Ambulance Quality Indicators.
Connected-healthcare specialists Visionable (co-founded and Chaired by Lord Victor Adebowale, CBE) and Excelerate Technology have joined forces to provide the unique Connected Emergency Services solution, enabling faster diagnosis and treatment by bringing in the right people and right information at the right time, regardless of location.
Co-created with emergency services, this collaboration platform connects front-line responders and emergency vehicles with remote clinical support during time-critical emergencies, enabling the sharing of patient information, medical device data and live video feeds simultaneously.
It is underpinned by Excelerate’s technology which offers permanent, unbreakable connectivity (via a hybrid of 4g, 5g and satellite) forming the basis upon which a whole new spectrum of healthcare applications and systems can be adopted, creating brand new pathways of care.
The core components
- Collaboration Hub – This central platform offers a bespoke management system to facilitate scene, medical device, and patient data sharing with specialist clinicians to help make informed collaborative decisions.
- Connected Responder – Front-line responders can request remote clinical support with the click of a button to accurately diagnose and treat patients at the scene and define the right care plan.
- Connected Vehicles – Connecting the ambulance’s medical equipment and video cameras with the available tablet and/or mobile devices (including body-worn cameras), enabling the reliable sharing of a 360-degree view of the patient’s health with remote clinical support teams to diagnose and treat patients faster.
The Connected Emergency Services solution enables safe reduction in avoidable ambulance conveyances and admissions to emergency departments; by diagnosing and treating patients earlier in the care pathway, patients are only taken to hospital if that is the right place for them – saving time, money, and resources.
‘See & Treat’ capabilities of the solution means anyone can share live video streams and medical data of the patient with remote clinical support for shared decision making.
Furthermore, the solution connects the right people within the urgent and emergency care system and beyond to improve patient outcomes and helps to ease pressure on front-line responders by providing access to remote clinical support whenever needed, enabling efficient and effective decision making.