Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSA) and Tactical Wireless Ltd (TWL) have reached an agreement for the joint development of a backpack-mounted version of TWL’s Omni-Hub multi-mode communications system.
The backpack-mounted Omni-Hub will provide paramedics with high quality video, audio and medical data links to and from KSSA’s control centre at Marden, Kent. The backpack Omni-Hub will operate for up to eight hours per day using on-board battery packs. Trials of the new system are expected to start at the end of May.
Omni-Hub integrates proven technologies: a multi-band router and an advanced video management system (VMS) to provide communications capability in remote and difficult areas. The technologies aggregate bandwidth and manage the transmission so that the available bandwidth is used efficiently.
As part of the programme, TWL, using Omni-Hub and its unique high-gain, MiMo antenna technology, surveyed key areas of KSSA’s area of operation. By managing all four UK cellular networks and the transmission content, live video transmission was achieved in areas where communications were otherwise impossible. These test sites were chosen based on KSSA’s incident frequencies and its approved landing sites.
TWL’s MiMo antenna pod, combines up to eight cellular, four WiFi and a GPS antenna, to provide good cellular connectivity and a long range WiFi hotspot. The two organisations have also agreed to the joint development of an in-flight Omni-Hub for the future.
Commenting on the development, KSSA’s CEO, Adrian Bell, said: “Delivering life-saving advanced critical interventions in the pre-hospital environment is challenging and we need to be able to support our Enhanced Care Teams properly.
“Key to this is reliable and consistent connectivity to allow a resilient and sustainable method of exchanging audio, video and data swiftly and consistently from anywhere across our region – the South East Coast.
“Omni-Hub is a very exciting advance and provides the level of technological capability that offers the potential to overcome the connectivity challenge; I am very much looking forward to the results of our forthcoming operational trials.”
TWL’s chairman and MD, Peter Morton, said: “This is an important development and enables Omni-Hub to provide KSSA with an important disruptive technological advance, which will enhance patient care."