Falck’s ambulance business is part of a big healthcare system, which is currently faced by a major challenge, namely that the demand for healthcare is going up and the ability to pay for it is going down. To Falck, this translates into a pressing demand to deliver more healthcare for less money in the near future. How do you solve such an equation? To Jakob and his colleagues, the answer lies in finding new, innovative solutions such as treating patients at home instead of bringing them to the hospital. “We realized that a big proportion of the patients in our ambulances are chronic patients. If we could equip some of our ambulances with more diagnostic tools, we could potentially make a diagnosis accurate enough to start and finish treatment in their homes – of course backed up by discussions and calls with physicians. That is good for the patients as they get the right treatment started right away, and we have one trip less to make. That is one example of rethinking how we can do something to reduce the increasing volume.”
With a big fleet of ambulances comes heavy logistics and a lot of transportation, and Falck has recently stepped into the field of electrical ambulances. The benefits are many: Electrical ambulances are equipped with fuel cells for power generation and a methanol-based heating system, making in-ambulance treatment very comfortable for patients. Also, the driveability of electric vehicles is very well-suited for ambulances, plus
they are a more environment-friendly alternative.
An additional area of interest for Falck is moving the ambulances from the ground to the air. Medical equipment, samples, tests and fresh blood can be transported by high-speed drones to the sites where they are needed. Currently, Falck is also looking into the potential of deploying bigger drones that can transport people – both paramedics and patients. A solution that may very well not be as far-fetched as it might sound.
“There is an interesting potential in liberating yourself from having to follow the road network, to skip the
busyness, the heavy traffic, and basically go in a straight line to where you are needed,” says Jakob. “We need solutions that are very robust. It will require some technological developments and some new thinking, but I am convinced that it will be part of the overall future ambulance solution package.”