UK connectivity specialist & systems integrator Excelerate Technology has agreed to be the Prime Sponsor for the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives’ (AACE) annual prestigious conference event – the Ambulance Leadership Forum (ALF) 2023 – which takes place 02-03 October 2023 at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales.

They will use this high-profile opportunity to showcase their innovative trial with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which has become the first ambulance service to pilot a new technology that provides robust connectivity for ambulance crews and vehicles – even in areas where traditional cellular connectivity is impossible.

The Hybrid Connex technology amalgamates clever software, cutting-edge hardware and cellular and satellite services into one package that effectively creates unbreakable, permanent connectivity.

ALF 2023 is where the UK’s senior ambulance and NHS leaders converge for an expert range of presentations, insights and debate from all parts of the UK ambulance sector, with the aim of continuing to improve ways of working, delivering better patient care, and providing staff and volunteers with the support they need to do their jobs.

It is the ideal showcase for the Hybrid Connex Digital Ambulance of the Future Project – a technology initiative that is working with the NHS to provide the UK ambulance sector with a resilient connectivity solution which combines 4G, 5G and satellite connections, meaning that the crew onboard the vehicle will never be offline (5G connectivity will be the primary connection, falling back to 4G when 5G is not available and then onto satellite connectivity in deep rural locations and areas with no coverage at all).

Complementing the next phase of the Ambulance Radio Programme (ARP) rollout (part of the Emergency Services Network) this advanced level of permanent connectivity for ambulance services will:

  • Open the door to new patient care pathways, taking advantage of digital advances.
  • Increase the range of point-of-contact diagnostic services and tests that ambulance crews can carry out on-the-spot, without taking patients to hospital.
  • Be better prepared and able to take advantage of developments in telemedicine and video technology.
  • Ensure that crews can quickly and easily access immediate clinical information through electronic patient records.
  • Enable crews to remain in constant contact with specialists about patients and their conditions while travelling to receiving hospitals.
  • Enable crews to locate patients faster in areas where connectivity is compromised.
  • Help crews find key information about local health and social care services at their fingertips, enabling them to signpost patients to more appropriate, alternative sources of health and care.
  • Help fleet managers and financial managers within ambulance services handle the often-complex commercial aspects of connectivity – such as billing – in a much more efficient way.

The pilot will involve six East of England ambulance vehicles and will be operational between August and October 2023, after which it will be fully evaluated and if successful, offered as a service to ambulance trusts.

Other UK ambulance services are also currently being encouraged to pilot test the new technology completely free of charge.

Hybrid Connex is a €5.7m research and development initiative co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) ARTES 5G Strategic Programme Line (SPL) and the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to create the prototype for pioneering an always-connected and cloud-based digital ambulance of the future. It is being delivered by a consortium of partners led by Excelerate Technology and includes NHS Arden and GEM Commissioning Support Unit, Livewire, the Satellite Applications Catapult and Vodafone.

Bethan Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Excelerate Technology says: “We are delighted to be the Prime Sponsor for ALF 2023 which will be the perfect time to update the delegates on progress with our Hybrid Connex pilot with East of England Ambulance Service.

“We firmly believe this superior level of connectivity will enable all regional ambulance services to achieve so much more with technology, whether that is for the improvement of patient care or to achieve greater efficiency in their performance. The resilience of the connection that we can now achieve is due to leading-edge technology that is being adopted in the most advanced parts of the world and we can now deliver that capability to our emergency services customers in the UK, the ambulance sector and its patients being the primary beneficiary.”

Excelerate Technology is growing exponentially both in the UK and abroad. Aside from its core business of providing resilient connectivity solutions for ambulance, police and fire & rescue services, the organisation has recently won a major multi-million pound contract within the nuclear sector while breaking into several new markets in the marine surveying, mobile CCTV and connected fleet sectors. Growth abroad – particularly in the Middle East where demand for its products and services is unabating – is a key feature of Excelerate’s recent history.

Says Ms Evans: “The world is now seeing significant investment in terrestrial and space based connectivity – for example Low Earth Orbit and Medium Earth Orbit satellites – in a quest to provide the levels of ubiquitous connectivity and data transfer required to connect people, organisations, and applications across urban to rural landscapes, in the air, at sea Pole to Pole, which will drive up demand for our multi-bearer expertise and the connectivity systems which harness this power and make it easier for users to implement applications that enable them to work anywhere.

“This world class and transformational capability will bring significant benefits to Excelerate’s existing customers and diverse product portfolio, in addition to supporting the company’s ambitious global vision and growth potential.”

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