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Mobile test bed creates unique possibilities for advances in healthcare

By developing a mobile test bed for the prehospital healthcare chain, entirely new possibilities open up for research, tests, development and innovation of new products and working processes. A fully-equipped ambulance for simulations and sound and image recordings and a “plug and play” IT test environment are important components in this unique concept.

Prehospital ICT Arena (PICTA) at Lindholmen Science Park, in partnership with the University of Borås, the Sahlgrenska University Hospital Ambulance Division, Region Västra Götaland, ambulance operations at Skaraborg Hospital and Southern Älvsborg Hospital, Medfield Diagnostics AB and GM Medical AB, will be carrying out the PreTest project that has just started up after having received financing from Vinnova.

In PreTest, a mobile prehospital test bed will be established that will support and promote the digitalization of healthcare. We will have the opportunity to research, test and evaluate new technology and new healthcare processes in a realistic environment. This way, we can manage under controlled forms the parts that are difficult or impossible to carry out in a clinically operative reality,” says Johanna Bergman, project manager at PICTA.

Region Västra Götaland has given the project access to a qualified IT test environment that will be adapted to prehospital requirements. This will make it possible to test new IT and e-health solutions, for example, by providing fictitious patient journals and sharing information between solutions via known and established interfaces. This will make the simulations realistic but will also simplify testing new solutions for various parties as well as decision-making support in a realistic, standardized environment.

This is a fantastic opportunity, having a ‘real’ ambulance for the test bed. It will also be available as an extra vehicle in normal operations, which opens up valuable clinical opportunities in which we can go directly from the simulated environment to real operations,” said Bengt Arne Sjöqvist, Program Director of PICTA.

The regional prehospital cooperation network that the test bed is part of has unique aggregate skills in both prehospital care and ICT and in design, implementation and analysis in simulated research experiments and studies. This creates incredibly good preconditions for the project,” Bengt Arne concluded.

Testers in the project will be healthcare, the business sector and researchers in prehospital healthcare. The flexibility that this mobility entails will make the test bed accessible no matter where the tester is located. Tests in the project will therefore be conducted at various ambulance stations in the region, but tests outside Region Västra Götaland are also in the plans.

 

Facts:

  • Duration of the project: Nov 15, 2018–Sep 30, 2020
  • Funding: SEK 2.7 million
  • Parties: PICTA, University of Borås, Sahlgrenska Ambulance Division, Region Västra Götaland, Skaraborg and Southern Älvsborg Hospitals ambulance operations, Medfield Diagnostics AB and GM Medical