ViaSat, the University of Aberdeen, NHS Highland and the Scottish Ambulance Service Trial New Connected Ambulance Program to Bring Enhanced Emergency Care to Patients in Transit
The one-year SatCare trial, partly-funded by the
As part of the pilot, five Scottish ambulances have been equipped with state-of-the-art scanning equipment and
The SatCare technology has been successfully tested using healthy volunteers. It will now be put into trial, helping several potentially life-threatening conditions, including: major trauma, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and circulatory shock, all of which could benefit from more accurate early diagnosis.
Leila Eadie, Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Rural Health, explains: “We are taking diagnostic tools used in the emergency department into rural ambulances, making them available at the site of an emergency. Previous studies have shown the biggest barrier to practical use of pre-hospital ultrasound is interpretation of the scans: images can be acquired with basic training and SatCare communications technology will facilitate expert assessment of images in the field. We want to maximise the benefits of having ultrasound available without requiring paramedics to undertake extensive sonography training.”
Luke Regan, Emergency Consultant at Raigmore Hospital, said: “Point-of-care ultrasound, telemedicine and remote decision support have all offered potential over the years to improve care for our patients, but have often failed to secure the kinds of rigorous and substantial research platforms that allow firm conclusions to be made about efficacy. The SatCare trial aims for the numbers, methodological rigour and rural patient base to offer a real prospect of informing the debate on these interventions positively for years to come.”
Philip Wilson, Director of the Centre for Rural Health, said: “This trial is a landmark in rural emergency care research. It will establish the best way to use very sophisticated technology to support paramedics in caring for sick patients on the long journey to a hospital and to alert A&E staff to what kind of treatments may be needed when the patient arrives. This research will tell us how effective and, equally important, how cost-effective this technology can be.” Marc Agnew, vice president, ViaSat Europe, said: “The innovative satellite broadband communication solutions we have created for the SatCare trial will allow transmission of high-bandwidth video summaries and ultrasound scans in areas of the Highlands where mobile phones and traditional emergency communication services have encountered problems. The equipment is simple to use, easy to install and most importantly can potentially bring considerable benefits to both paramedics and patients in emergency situations.” Neil Fraser, director of space and communications, ViaSat UK, said: “This ESA-sponsored medical project aligns with ViaSat UK’srecent efforts to grow our engineering talent pool and expand our technology repertoire. Critical elements of this project were developed and integrated in our recently expanded R&D facility in Farnborough. Working closely with our partners on this trial, we will be seeking to further enhance this capability for first responders.”
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to the SatCare program and the ability to transmit scans over the KA-SAT satellite in
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