Defence Medical Services (DMS) provides the highest quality medical care to military personnel, specifically in remote and challenging locations. They need to establish secure and cost effective communications to enable them to access additional clinical input remotely.

Project LARA brings together several separate innovation capabilities to deliver a more coherent deployed telemedicine solution – as soon as possible. This will underpin the ability of the DMS to meet its duty of care to deployed personnel, especially in remote locations. SA Group's consultants joined the team to provide end-to-end planning, P3M project management and technical expertise.

Capabilities Employed

The Challenge

Telemedicine is essential to reduce clinical risk by assessing expert input from UK-based clinicians to support surgeons in the field. However, it's currently being carried out over insecure communication systems such as civilian emails, WhatsApp and ad-hoc phone calls. It's a risk that's been identified and prioritised by UK Strategic Command.

Development of accredited, secure systems that are accessible to the end user are essential to deliver the additional expertise needed, securely. Project LARA will improve the communication of information required to improve patient care through the provision of the following innovative capabilities:

  1. Medical Messaging. Support to a LAND led trial of a medical messaging application for on both personal and MOD phones. A public-hosted AWS cloud solution that is delivering a medically tailored, WhatsApp-type messaging system for 2000 users.
  2. Remote Monitoring. The networking of a number of Tempus Pro medical monitors providing the capability to transmit patient vital signs. Exploitation to enable wider networking in order to deliver clinical reach back and medical record archiving from forward location to the UK or larger medical facilities.
  3. Real-Time Clinical Support. An augmented reality, surgical reach back system for deployed R2 medical facilities, allowing a deployed surgeon to stream live video back to a UK specialist for support, in real time.

The Solution

SA Group created an end-to-end P3M project team to support Project LARA, comprehensively scoping the requirement, managing the project throughout and delivering an accurate testing capability.

An integral part of the 8 person Agile Delivery team, our Business Analyst, Project Manager and Test & Trials Manager worked closely with a mixture of Army Medical Regulars, Reservist, Civil Servants and contracted specialist consultants as part of the Joint Medical Group (JMG) in the Medical Information Services (Med IS).

  • Business Analysis
    The SA Group Business Analyst has been busy supporting the Project in the capturing of the User Requirements and the creation of the User Stories for all the capabilities. This has been conducted through extensive tri-service user workshops, covering all the deployable Medical organisations. This has enabled the Project Team in developing Statements of Requirement and Business Cases for all the current capabilities and for a new Medical Messaging capability that will be procured in Q3 2020 to replace the current LAND trial.
  • Project Management
    SA Group's Project Manager is responsible for co-ordinating the development and testing activities for all the telemedicine capabilities, plus providing governance and control processes. All activities are tracked and measured against the delivery plan to ensure that milestone are achieved in the agreed timeline. This has enabled the project to claim Initial Operating Capability (IOC) against the Remote Monitoring capability.
  • Test & Trials Management
    The SA Group Test & Trials Manager created a Master Test and Trials Plan to cover all the capabilities for the Project. Working in the context of the Covid 19 epidemic, we conducted testing under social distancing restrictions of the Real-Time Clinical Support solution with the Medical Joint Service Operating Department Practitioners (ODP), enabling a user driven development of the minimal viable product (MVP).

The Result

Delivery of Project LARA capabilities will enable a deployed medic (on land, sea or air) access to a suite of secure telemedicine services via military or commercial bearers, benefitting from advice and support from UK-based specialists.

SA Group's team has been central to the ongoing success of the project, delivering:

  • Full statements of requirement and business cases for a new Medical Messaging capability have been developed to enable procurement in Q3.
  • Initial Operating Capability (IOC) has been secured against the Remote Monitoring capability.
  • Minimal Viable Product testing – enabled and completed under strict social distancing regulations.

Next Phase

Building on the results that the SA Group team has achieved so far, we are proud to continue our work on the project, using our experience and knowledge to provide:

Medical Messaging. Commercial tender for the application supplier, development of the capability, Beta Testing and Transition into Live Services by Q1 2021.

Remote Monitoring. Finalising the outstanding Defence Line of Development (DLOD) work strands to achieve Full Operating Capability (FOC).

Real-Time Clinical Support. The delivery of the minimum viable product (MVP) solution for deployed user trials, work towards IOC and FOC.

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