The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design’s award-winning redesign of the emergency ambulance was among the top three most-voted for innovations on show at the World Innovation Summit on Healthcare (WISH), held in Qatar on 10-11 December 2013.
WISH is a high-profile international event convened by medical pioneer Professor Ara Darzi of Imperial College London, which is set to attract global leaders in healthcare from business and government and the charitable sector.
The redesign of the ambulance aims to improve mobile healthcare by providing a better treatment space for ambulance crews and patients. It marks a collaboration between the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, the University of the West of England and the London Ambulance Service.
The interior of the emergency ambulance is difficult to clean and difficult to stock – and problematic for paramedics in terms of providing better patient care.
This project set out to make the treatment space of the emergency ambulance fit for 21st century healthcare. Building on six years of research at the RCA, the study began with the designers joining ambulance crews on callouts during 12-hour shifts. Key insights were translated into sketch designs; a full-scale test rig was mocked up in cardboard and foam. Front line paramedics, clinicians, patients, academic researchers, engineers and designers then worked together in a co-design process to develop and evaluate proposals, resulting in a full-size mobile demonstrator of the new interior.
The new ambulance reconfigures and redesigns the layout of the patient treatment space. There is 360° access to the patient, which not only improves clinical efficiency but also enhances patient safety. The new interior is designed to be easy to clean. Equipment packs containing specific treatment consumables aid clinical performance, infection control and stock control. A new digital diagnostics and communications system is also presented.
Download Redesigning the Emergency Ambulance pdf (2.9MB) HERE