The Healthy Living Lab follows similar developments by Satellite Applications Catapult as a purpose-built space for healthcare practitioners and technology providers to co-create, develop, and deliver solutions. Attendants were invited to discover more about the lab’s methodology, how to use the new facilities, and demonstrations of current projects on remote monitoring, connected vehicles, 5G testbeds and hybrid connectivity. A key theme throughout the event was the formation and consolidation of relationships that will make up a community to innovate, share resources and co-create solutions to shape the future of the healthcare sector.
“We should be advocating for scalable healthcare solutions from the outset and there is that challenge of scaling things from a trial, or prototype, solution in the health and well-being sector. This is where facilities like the Living Labs can go beyond a trial, or prototype, by providing a dedicated facility where companies can work together to first solve the problem and then ultimately develop a scalable solution for the market.” – John Vesey, Business Manager for Health and Wellbeing
Introducing the Healthy Living Lab
Advances in technology and connectivity are driving improvements in healthcare. However, without the rapid acceleration and implementation of such innovations, critical challenges such as workforce shortages and increasing demand risk overwhelming our healthcare and emergency care system entirely. The potential offered by technology – and particularly connectivity – is huge, but testing the efficacy of solutions can often be challenging. With potentially expensive and risky trials, safety must remain a top priority.
This thinking has motivated the development of Catapult’s latest Living Lab. Enabled by 5G connectivity over satellite and terrestrial comms, the Healthy Living Lab offers a neutral and controlled space that will help drive further evolution of the healthcare ecosystem. It is a space to design, market-test and launch innovative solutions and products in simulated but authentic environments.
Using the Healthy Living Lab
The centre has physical resources (an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, a mock-up care home room, and a GP surgery) and virtual resources to enable healthcare practitioners and technology professionals to test innovations in a lifelike space. Users can trial multiple products in parallel in a way that would not be possible in a hospital or patient’s home and with a clinician or patient.
The Healthy Living Lab will enable users to delve deeper and enhance their understanding of current ways of working, taking the time to understand what works and what does not. From this, users can begin to look at the art of the possible and consider what will come next. For example, drone technology and robotics are areas that the centre has a demonstrable history in supporting. By designing and testing products in the centre, trials of new technologies can be done in situ, thereby de-risking the process for healthcare and emergency services.
Utilisation of the lab is underpinned by a 9-step methodology of thinking, centred around “Think like a system; Act like an entrepreneur” thought-process:
The Living Lab journey will be tailored to users’ individual needs, and as such will allow users to either use the entire methodology process from start to finish or use certain sections as timelines and needs require.
Healthy Living Lab use case: Connected Ambulances
The Living Lab is working with innovative organisations, such as Visionable, to deliver solutions that overcome these challenges. At the launch event, Visionable demonstrated their state-of-the-art Connected Ambulance technology, equipped with satellite and 5G capabilities enabled by the Healthy Living Lab.
Connected Ambulances can share and receive medical device information, patient care records and live video feeds with remote specialists for a full 360 view of the patient’s health. By underpinning them with satellite and 5G capabilities, providers can ensure they never lose connectivity, even when visiting the most rural areas.
A community to elevate the art of the possible
The Living Lab’s launch event kickstarted a community that will continue to grow and develop, enabling community members to benefit from this ecosystem approach to driving developments in healthcare. Similarly to Visionable’s Connected Healthcare Centre, the physical and virtual resources offered in the space are one aspect which will drive these developments, but it is the connections and partnerships formed through the community that will work to accelerate innovation.