Portugal’s Hospital de São João in Porto is testing “new technology-based solutions, in order to speed up the response in emergency situations, as well as affirming Portugal internationally as a preferred space for test and experimentation of new operating concepts, technologies and services for the Health area”, according to news reports. The hospital is launching a Technological Free Zone (ZLT) for medical emergencies, which will allow a faster response and “affirm Portugal internationally” in health technology.
The ZLT will combine “skills in the mobility and aeronautics sectors, around the concept of Advanced Air Mobility, an emerging area of the aeronautical industry that requires the use of vertical take-off aerial vehicles, including drones,” explains a hospital press release.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of São João, Fernando Araújo, said: “Integrating a project of this dimension and technological complexity is a unique opportunity to be part of an ecosystem of partners from such different areas. The objective is to test and experience the transport of cargo and passengers, in the case of transporting organs or medicines, in an integrated approach between physical means of air and land mobility, connectivity between the various means and computational platforms for managing operations that allow, based on the data collected, develop intelligent models for optimizing resources and routes.”
This project is combined with a heliport, which has community support through the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission, and the Medical Emergency Mobility Hub.
All these initiatives are strategic, says Fernando Araújo, “and the completion of this ZLT will also allow the use of this infrastructure in experimentation activities in the area of advanced air mobility on air routes between Porto, Braga and Guimarães and the connection of air corridors to hospitals of Braga and Valongo”.
The Hospital de São João ZLT will be managed with the support of 4LifeLab, “a collaborative laboratory of devices and systems for medical emergencies that has partners such as CEiiA – Center for Engineering and Product Development”.
The Municipality of Porto will also participate in the process, as it is part of the European urban air mobility test network.
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