A group of European ambulance services, academic healthcare research bodies, hospitals and other healthcare organisations have formed a consortium, called the Smart Ambulance European Procurers Platform (SAEPP). Their objective: Designing and building a 21st century prototype emergency ambulance vehicle which will allow frontline clinicians to provide more high-level patient care on-scene, and thus help reduce the number of unnecessary hospital transports currently made by ambulance services across the EU.
Within the Smart Ambulance European Procurers Platform (SAEPP), each consortium member organisation brings a certain specialist expertise in areas such as ambulance vehicle manufacturing, frontline emergency healthcare, project management, or public healthcare innovation to the project.
Declan Heneghan, editor Ambulance Today Magazine and SAEPP Media & Communications Lead says: "It is our goal to work together as a pan-European team to create a mobile treatment unit, not only capable of combined patient transport and treatment, but which will also create a patient treatment area which will maximise space, minimise the risk of infection, reduce hospital admissions and handover times, decrease overall costs and, most importantly, offer an overall safer environment for patients and clinicians alike."
Treating patients not only in hospitals
The SAEPP project builds on the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design’s involvement in the Smart Pods research study completed in 2009, which proposed a new system of mobile healthcare to treat patients in the community as well as in hospitals.
It is estimated that in the UK alone by providing appropriate on-the-spot treatment, up to 40 per cent of patient journeys to hospitals could be avoided, resulting in a significant reduction in operational costs for the NHS and a significant increase in quality of the overall patient experience.
SAEPP received funding through the Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation. The project partners are from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Spain and the Netherlands.
More information: www.smartambulanceproject.eu
Watch the video below about the SAEPP project: It gives a simple, understandable tour of the current 'Smart Ambulance' demonstration unit, allowing you to see what the main design changes are and how they differ to conventional Accident and Emergency (A&E) ambulances. It also makes clear that the main objectives of the project are to increase the potential for high levels of prehospital care and to decrease the amount of unnecessary A&E admissions.
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