Australian Smart Ambulance to revolutionise communications with hospital emergency

A world-leading ambulance that will transmit real-time information about patients to hospital emergency was unveiled today to ambulance authorities from Australia and New Zealand.

Known as the Smart Ambulance, it is the result of an alliance between Byron, Australia’s leading ambulance manufacturer and exporter, and Ferno, a global leader in emergency care solutions.

The new ambulance, revealed at a technology forum at Byron’s Smithfield plant in Sydney, will provide a safer working environment for paramedics, more efficient fleet management for ambulance services and improved communications about patient conditions with hospitals.

Glen Walker, Byron’s Chief Executive Officer, said today the innovations in ambulance engineering and technology represent a revolution in ambulance design and manufacturing in Australia.

He said: “Ferno’s world-leading products in patient transport, safety and vehicle intelligence systems will transform the medical vehicles we build and supply to ambulance and emergency services.

“Hospital emergency departments will be able to track changes in the patient’s condition in real time like never before. The ambulance will transmit the patient’s vital information such as ECG readings and cameras inside the ambulance will enable the hospital to view the patient while in transit.

“When the ambulance arrives at the hospital, they will already know the patient’s condition. The improved data flow between the ambulance in transit and the hospital will save valuable time in the triage process where seconds are critical.”

Mr Walker said the wellbeing of paramedics is paramount in the design of the Smart Ambulance.

“Ferno’s vehicle component system is designed to secure loose equipment inside the ambulance through track-mounted, magnetic pouches containing supplies and equipment. This allows paramedics to deliver patient care from a seated, restrained position, reducing the risk of injury from standing up in a moving vehicle to access supplies.

“The Smart Ambulance will have a duress system activation accessible from anywhere in the vehicle or by the paramedic’s personal device that activates 360 degree digital video recording, in-car voice warnings, and distress texts to multiple agencies with vehicle identification and location.

“The vehicle itself becomes a safe haven for ambulance officers as the Smart Ambulance is also fitted with security entry glass.”

Mr Walker said Ferno’s ACETECH cloud-based vehicle intelligence system will provide fleet managers with a stream of real-time data about the ambulance’s operations, deployment, driving behaviour, fuel costs, systems status and maintenance schedule.

Joe Bourgraf, US-based President and CEO at Ferno, said in Sydney that Ferno’s Integrated Patient Transport System™ was the result of five years of research and development and world-wide consultation with medical practitioners, ‘first responders’ and ambulance services.

“The Smart Ambulance is at the cutting edge globally of on-board vehicle intelligence, patient care and safety standards for paramedics, and communication.

“It provides a highly flexible and modular system that can fit any vehicle type and size and can meet many different operating environments such as accident scenes, fires and other emergencies.

“Both Ferno and Byron are leaders in the emergency medical services market. Together we are setting new standards in innovation and technology,” Mr Bourgraf said.

Representatives of ambulance services from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, the ACT, WA, SA, NT, Tasmania, Vietnam, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland have seen the new Smart Ambulance demonstrated at Byron’s plant in Smithfield, Sydney.

Key Features of the Smart Ambulance

In-vehicle technology improves patient experience, paramedic safety and fleet management.

Ferno’s iNX Integrated Patient Transfer and Loading System™

  • Extensive global research resulted in a ground-breaking stretcher system that no longer requires a heavy and unnecessary tail-lift. The system allows easy loading and unloading at the touch of a button. The stretchers maximise stability and lift patient loads up to 317 kgs (700 lbs).

Ferno’s iNTRAXX™ Integrated Vehicle Component System™

  • The interior innovation makes the ambulance modular, more efficient and safer in an emergency for paramedics and patients. It features wall-mounted tracks that secure medical equipment, storage cabinets and supply bags.

ACETECH Integrated Vehicle Intelligence System™

  • The full-integrated vehicle performance monitoring and control system provides fuel efficiency savings, protects assets and captures real-time and ongoing data that assists important fleet management decisions. ACETECH iNtelligent camera monitoring allows emergency departments to see the patient as well as hearing the paramedic’s description.