Ambulance manufacturer O&H Vehicle Technology, part of Yorkshire-based Venari Group, has announced an agreement which will see it launch the UK’s first smart ambulance into the NHS this year.
Pre-empting specifications set by NHS Improvement, the vehicle will be built in Yorkshire and leverage specialist mobile communications technology designed by Cardiff-based Excelerate Technology. The design will support first-responders working within rural areas, where a loss of connection is a common problem.
Utilising the next-generation of technology – including 5G, ESN-ready, optimised 4G and the next generation satellite technology and services (LEO) – it is a move which will see the firms deliver a ‘mobile patient care ecosystem’, providing ubiquitous connectivity for the seamless integration of technology, applications and devices.
Excelerate and O&H are providing key support to the Health Living Lab programme as part of a consortium led by NHS Arden & GEM CSU and Satellite Applications Catapult. The Health Living Lab will provide a test bed and showcase for the smart, connected ambulances where all technologies, applications and devices are seamlessly integrated to support new, redesigned and re-imagined care pathways.
Venari Group CEO, Oliver North, said: “I’ve worked with Excelerate over many years and I consider the company world-class at what they do. With our aligned passion for innovation, quality and British manufacturing, the decision to work together on the next phase of connected emergency vehicle technology was a natural one.
“As our first ‘smart’ concept ambulance has now become a reality, following intense development by Excelerate and O&H Vehicle Technology, we have decided to make our partnership exclusive in the UK ambulance sector. This is a genuine coup for both parties as we drive innovation, technology and quality together, whilst essentially building everything in Britain, thus driving value and payback to the taxpayer.
“Our technological offering will be completely unrivalled in the UK ambulance field, whilst maintaining conformity to the NHSI national specification.”
Excelerate Technology founder and chairman, David Savage, said: “I am delighted to be bringing our integrated and seamless connectivity experience, ideas and offerings to O&H Vehicle Technology’s advanced and ergonomic ambulances. The UK’s first smart ambulance is a significant step forward in developing mobile patient care for the future needs of our NHS.”
“Our partnership will provide a truly integrated mobile eco-system to support the evolving role of paramedics and NHS services in addition to enhancing staff welfare, safety and security.”
O&H and Excelerate are launching their official partnership at this year’s Ambulance Leadership Forum in March and will be inviting the NHS Community to engage with the first smart ambulance concept at The Emergency Services Show in September.