Status date

Development of information and communication technologies by satellites is favouring the development of new services for logistic and healthcare operations in isolated and mobile context when the ground telecommunications infrastructures are destroyed or not accessible.

In the frame of DELTASS project (2000-2002 ESA - ARTES 5 programme), engineers and medical doctors have succeeded in developing equipment for logistic and medical supports in mobile, isolated and disaster context. Technical and operational demonstrations of DELTASS concept have been achieved during the last 2002-quarter (visit the site: http://www.medes.fr/home_fr/telemedecine/teleconsultation/i_discare.html).

The system is now available and the I-DISCARE project aims to propose it to operational users community first on a free basis and after on a commercial basis. Thanks to ESA ARTES 3 programme, the target is to create a I-DISCARE Service Provider structure and initiate its activities. The I-DISCARE project has the ambition to reach this target by achieving the following 3 main tasks:

  • Implement a satellite-based support to logistic and healthcare for medical operations in isolated, mobile and disaster context, the I-DISCARE service. This will be achieved by the I-DISCARE Pilot System Architecture (PSA) implementation.
  • Demonstrate and validate the viability of this I-DISCARE service by defining a Pilot Utilisation Plan (PiUP) and by using some real field utilisation involving end users. This will be achieved 1) by building-up the I-DISCARE Pilot utilisation plan (PiUP) and 2) by running some utilisation in real situation by users. The end users cost benefits, technical and operational outputs coming from these running in real situation will be used to consolidate the Pilot Utilisation Plan (PiUP) and to establish the Strategic Plan (SP) to implement the I-DISCARE service provider.
  • Prepare and consolidate a Strategic Plan (SP) for the I-DISCARE service implementation by using the consolidated PiUP and founded on contractual agreements with end users. This will be achieved through the I-DISCARE Strategic Plan tasks. Beside the economical benefits for the users, the social benefits for citizens will be treated.

The I-DISCARE Service Provider will have the following activities:

  • Make available the necessary resources in terms of equipment to the customer under purchase or leasing commercial basis
  • Development, procurement and integration of customised HW and SW for customers
  • Provide customers with necessary telecommunication facilities (communication services, access to the satellite capacity)
  • Provide customers with all the necessary ancillary services (transportation to/from their sites, installation, de-installation, insurance, access and use of the telecom lines, repairing, upgrading)
  • Train the customer staff
  • Endorse the commercial activities

Based on satellites technologies the I-DISCARE concept proposes to bring viable support for medical activities in remote, isolated and mobile situations. The potential customers are:

  • General MD working in remote or isolated regions (for expert advice...)
  • Health Institutions in remote or isolated regions for medical advice
  • Medical Emergency Institutions covering remote or isolated regions
  • Ambulance Companies working in remote or isolated regions
  • Fire Brigade covering remote or isolated regions
  • Civilian protection organisation working in disaster context (no more ground telecom infrastructures)
  • Humanitarian medicine organisation (NGO) working specially in foreign countries
  • Companies working off-shore and in isolated areas
  • Mountain Emergency Organisation
  • Ships, Sailors in connection with Maritime Medical Assistance companies or institution
  • Airlines Company (onboard the long term flights using the onboard satellite link)
  • Medical Assistance Company (Mondial Assistance, Europe Assistance, Axa Assistance )
  • Military Medical Departments

The particularities of the I-DISCARE compared with the few existing competitors are:

  • To integrate the user specific requirements
  • To not propose a fixed end to end service
  • To involve a satellite service provider (ELSACOM) in its activities

Platform Overview

  The following functions are supported by the I-DISCARE system, using satellites systems, telecommunication and GPS system bringing links between field actors and their background organisation:
  • Victim - Patient localisation and identification (level of gravity, preliminary diagnostic) thanks to integrated small Personal Digital Agenda equipment, allowing also phone communications.



  • First Medical Assistance (with localisation and objective medical data transmission, Electrocardiogram 10 leads, Non Invasive Blood Pressure, 02 Saturation, Heart Rate, Tympanum T°) thanks to portable telemedicine workstation (PTW), allowing also phone communications.

Portable Telemedicine Workstation (PTW)

  • Medical monitoring of the victims (with localisation and objective medical data transmission, Electrocardiogram 3 leads, Non Invasive Blood Pressure, 02 Saturation, Heart Rate, Breath Rate, cutaneous T°) during evacuation on board ambulance, thanks to the ambulance terminal allowing also phone communications.

Ambulance Terminal

  • Management / co-ordination of the field operational actors from a dispatching room, thanks to a server and visualisation consoles (including mapping capacity).

Phase 1 : January 2003 - June 2003

  • Consolidate the Pilot System Architecture
  • Formalise the users' agreement
  • Consolidate the Pilot Utilisation Plan

Phase 2 : June 2003 - December 2004

  • Achieve the Pilot Utilisation Plan
  • Improve and formalise the Strategic Plan

Phase 3 : September 2004 - January 2005

  • Implement the I-DISCARE Service Provider (so called MEDESSAT)
Current status

The I-DISCARE project starts (January 2003); it has the benefits of the issues of the previous DELTASS project.

The Pilot System Architecture and the Pilot Utilisation plan have been fixed in July 2003.

The Strategic Plan document (version updated July 24, 2004) is now available. This updated version is in accordance with the foundation of the MEDESSAT ASP structure that is under negotiation with different partners in France (CNES, CLS, Individuals, Industrials, Capital risk &..) and shall be discussed with other European potential partners (an second round for paid-in capital increase is planned in 2006). A similar document titled "Presentation de la Societe MEDESSAT" (in French) is now also available. The planning is to have founded MEDESSAT by mid November 2004.

The pilot deployments among users have started in May 2003. At the present time; in April 2004, the following users have evaluated the I-DISCARE system :

  1. The Paris Emergency Organisation (SAMU 75), in May 2003
  2. The mountain medical emergency organisation in Chamonix (SAMU-Chamonix), June - September 2003.
  3. SOS International (expatriated medical assistance), November 2003-February 2004).
  4. An evaluation with the French Army in Montauban on January 27-28, 2004.
  5. On going: the Bordeaux Emergency Organisation (SAMU 33), in April 2004-September 2004.
  6. Croce Rossa Piacenza in April-June 2004
  7. 118 Verona in April - June 2004
  8. Maxima Emergenza simulation in Vicenza on June 23 2004
  9. Maxima Emergenza simulation in Lecco with Mountain SAR (CNSAS) on June 25 2004
  10. Utilisation of the I-DISCARE system by Lecco Mountain Search and Rescue teams (CNSAS) during July-September 2004
  11. A full scale demonstration with UNN in Tromsø on October 14, 2004.
  12. Use of 2 PTW by SAMU Noumea (Nouvelle Calédonie November-December 2004).

Compact Terminal use in Tromsoe

French Army Use

PTW use in disaster situation