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October 19, 2020 – Angel Group companies (MERMEC, SITAEL, EIKONTECH, BRIGHTCYDE and the partner SKYCOMM), have been awarded a contract by the European Space agency (ESA), to develop the concept of ICUTRAIN (Intensive Care Unit TRAIN), an innovative hospital-train equipped with ambulatory and intensive care units that will use space technologies to enable remote medical analysis and consultations that require data exchange and high security standards.

The project was selected among around 130 project ideas received in response to “Space in response to COVID-19 outbreak” call for proposals organised under the Space Solutions programme of the European Space Agency and sponsored by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in agreement with the Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitization, Paola Pisano, and the Undersecretary of State to the Prime Minister with responsibility for Space Policies, Riccardo Fraccaro. The project is in partnership with Trenitalia, which will provide the cars to be set-up and the railway areas necessary for operational demonstrations, and the scientific and health support of the Health Department of Regione Puglia.

In case of major health emergencies such as the ones generated by the COVID19 pandemic, ICUTRAIN will offer additional intensive care stations allowing the transfer of patients requiring assistance quickly, safely and at reasonable costs.

ICUTRAIN will be assisted by space technology, such as satellites for communications and geo-positioning, enabling advanced telemedicine and remote diagnostics functions on-the-move, for the benefit of on-board healthcare personnel who will be able to quickly consult specialists of specific disciplines, remotely, and conduct, jointly with them, objective assessments on the state of patients.

ICUTRAIN, whose test activities are scheduled for the first half of 2021, will allow the development of a national hospital emergency response capacity that will be quickly re-positioned on the territory of the European Union thanks to the capillarity of the railway infrastructure, therefore reusable for earthquakes, floods and any other health emergency.