Three projects using space data to support the NHS have won support to the tune of £1.1 million from the UK Space Agency.
It has selected them in an initiative with the European Space Agency to develop services that can support the response to coronavirus.
They are the first to be selected from a programme making a total of £2.6 million available for relevant projects.
The UK Space Agency highlighted an initiative involving space company Skysports and NHS Highland to use drones to deliver medical supplies and samples from a hospital on the Argyll and Bute mainlaind.
Drones will use mobile connectivity, satellite communications and navigation, and Earth observations data to chart a course to other areas of the mainland and across the sea to nearby islands to reach medical practices in need.
In another project Landmrk Limited is to develop an app named Stay as a mobile platform for charities and organisations supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It will use satellite communications to reward young people for positive behaviour including exercise and following distancing guidelines with ‘badges’, which will be linked to rewards, discounts and other incentives.
Stevenson Astrosat is running the third initiative in developing the Isolation + solution, which uses advanced space data analytics and relevant ground information to identify ‘hidden’ vulnerable communities. This will help local authorities and voluntary organisations to target support for those who are vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “I’m proud of how our world leading space sector is stepping up to provide innovative solutions to directly support our amazing NHS, as we continue our national effort to tackling coronavirus.
“The projects we are backing today show UK ingenuity at its finest, and will make a real difference to how we use this latest innovative technology to deliver critical healthcare now and long into the future.”
Last year the UK Space Agency provided £5 million for new health technologies to support NHS England, including compact 3D x-ray machines and a mobile app that provided exercise plans free from air pollution.
Image from USAF, public domain