Expandable Healthcare's Mobile Medical Plus platform combines the advantages of both mobile and modular imaging
Whether it's a rural area without a permanent imaging facility or a hospital trying to meet a higher scan volume, mobile and modular imaging units are commonly used around the world. While mobiles put the scanner on wheels and modulars are fixed locations, they each have unique disadvantages; a mobile unit typically requires climbing a flight of stairs, which is not feasible for some patients. A modular unit, although ground level, lacks the flexibility to relocate and needs to be craned.
When Martijn Gevers started Expandable Healthcare two and a half years ago, his goal was to offer a solution that provided the benefits of both methods without either’s limitations. Today, as owner and managing director of the company, he is busy deploying his hybrid solution to providers across Europe.
Mobile Medical Plus is grounded and can easily relocate
In addition to requiring no stairs and the ability to change locations, Expandable Healthcare's Mobile Medical Plus platform is designed to expand into a complete building that provides full imaging services. It is built with all the flexibility of a mobile imaging unit for maneuvering, but is grounded, so patients can access it more easily and requires no craning.
“It’s easier to enter. That’s a big change in the market. It allows the operator to perform cardiac examinations. People can enter the unit on a stretcher more easily. The whole delivery scope is improved,” Gevers told HCB News. He adds that such a solution saves providers on costs and spares them from potential liability caused by patients falling down the stairs.
The solution can be used for CT, cath labs, mammography, PET/CT and X-ray. It can also be used for non-imaging applications, such as GP clinic, dermatology, ophthalmology, operating procedures, pharmacy and consulting. Its introduction in 2020 featured a GE Revolution and a Siemens SOMATOM CT scanner and was based on a removable dolly concept. In 2021, an updated version included a retractable chassis.
Mobile Medical Plus operates on a slide-out concept in which the unit’s exterior slides out and widens into the size of a building. Its remote-controlled, slidable chassis allows for easy maneuvering and positioning anywhere, with three electronic axles making it capable of turning in and out of almost every corner.
Unlike traditional mobile units, the solution completely separates the office space from the control room and has a separate entrance for staff members and for patients. It also comes with support units, waiting rooms, separate changing areas for privacy and mood lighting to put patients at ease. This, along with its slide-out expandable technology makes it the most spacious available mobile imaging unit globally, according to Gevers.
In addition, it comes with fire-rated resistance walls. This allows it to be used longer on-site, unlike traditional mobile units, which do not meet this required building regulation to operate for as long.
The solution expands into an entire building based on a slide-out concept
“It’s [our customer's] quickest way to reduce their waiting lists, typically, in the market that we serve," he said. "Mobile Medical Plus acts as a variation between adding a facility within a couple of weeks or to start building and expanding the hospital itself, which takes years.”
The system is currently used in Europe, including the U.K. Gevers says he hopes to bring Mobile Medical Plus to the U.S. in the next two years.