NHS Arden and the Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (Arden & GEM) and the Satellite Applications Catapult have agreed a formal partnership to develop the use of satellite technology in digital healthcare.
This follows a series of joint projects over the past 18 months and is aimed at promoting collaboration between the NHS and the UK space and satellite sector.
The Satellite Applications Catapult is one of the technology companies created by national innovation agency Innovate UK, and is aimed at exploiting the data from space infrastructure and relevant satellite applications.
The organisations said they intend to work on projects combining satellite intelligence with complementary technologies to meet patient needs and support social prescribing and community interventions. The aim is for a series of solutions to high priority challenges in healthcare.
Another is to lead to more cross-organisational working and to raise awareness across the NHS of the potential in utilising satellite and related technologies.
Managing health conditions
Existing initiatives have used data from the technology in the management of long term conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes, as well as improving ambulance connectivity.
In Scotland, the partnership has been part of a trial to combine satellite connectivity with ingestible endoscopy technology to improve early diagnosis of conditions. The resulting solution is now being rolled out across Scotland.
The news marks a further step in efforts to harness satellite technology in support of public services. Last year the UK Space Agency made £700,000 available to support projects pairing companies in the sector with central and local government organisations, and the head of its Space for Smarter Government programme indicated a need to make its data easier to use.
Image from NOAA, CC BY 2.0 through flickr