The need for high-speed mobile broadband networks for ambulance services

Simoco Wireless Solutions Pty Ltd
Friday, 16 September, 2022

The need for high-speed mobile broadband networks for ambulance services

Ambulance services are constantly under pressure to improve clinical quality, create efficiency and ensure patients’ safety. Ambulance crews across Australia are working everyday tirelessly to provide comprehensive care for citizens.

Communication is critical in enabling better decisions and ultimately saving lives. Millions of calls are made every year in Australia, with each one of those calls triggering a complex systematic response underpinned by mission-critical radio communications. Fundamentally, these communication systems have been built not to fail.

The impact of the pandemic heightened awareness of the need for technology to enhance patient care whilst accelerating innovation and technology adoption for emergency services across Australia. The need for robust and reliable communication technology is becoming increasingly important to meet the needs for the 21st century. Ambulance services need to continue working with the best technology to keep Australians safe. We believe the transition to mobile broadband-based applications and technologies will improve operational efficiency and effectiveness for decades to come.

If you take the example of the UK’s first remote diagnostic procedure, which took place in 2019 and was made possible by 5G technology, this demonstrated how high-speed mobile broadband networks can enable clinicians and paramedics to collaborate effectively, even when they are miles apart. The diagnosis was made possible by 5G’s ultra-fast speeds and ultra-low latency. This made it possible for there to be a delay of milliseconds between what was happening in the ambulance and what the clinician could see in the hospital miles away, as the data transmitted in real time. Wearing a specially equipped VR headset, the clinician was able to visualise exactly what the paramedic could see in the ambulance. Using a joystick, they are then able to remotely direct the paramedic in real time to perform any necessary scans, as well as get close-up footage of wounds and injuries of the patient.

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Peter Scarlata, CEO Australasia at Simoco Wireless Solutions, said: “Whilst land mobile radio has long supported mission-critical voice and data and will continue to do so for years to come, it cannot support heavy data traffic and web-based applications that the ambulance service need in today’s era. Initiatives such as the Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) in Australia are accelerating the switch to mobile broadband networks. At Simoco Wireless Solutions, we have extensive experience working with ambulance customers across Australasia in delivering state-of-the-art mission-critical networks.”

Utilising the products engineered by Thorcom, a Simoco Wireless Solutions company, we can provide ambulance customers a combination of products including vehicle routing and mission critical push to talk (MCPTT) solutions. A key challenge faced by ambulance agencies is the requirement to establish strong connections between ambulance vehicles and data centres as well as other public safety agencies. Simoco’s VR-950 in-vehicle router delivers all the desired computing and communications functionality all in one device. The product is tried and tested in operational use in large volumes by the ambulance sector, where resilience, high reliability, performance and low latency are paramount. This provides the ambulance sector a proven and highly integrated solution for aggregating existing services.

VR-950 features

  • Integrating CAD — we offer an open protocol for connecting into CAD systems and other third-party application servers.
  • Data aggregation — ambulance services can enjoy maximum bandwidth and low latency with the dual active LTE modules that work in parallel to provide a single bonded connection for data connectivity.
  • Multi bearer technology — the device is capable of multiple bearers including LMR, LTE and satellite communications.
  • Tailored customisation — Simoco has decades of experience for tailoring solutions specific to the ambulance sector.

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