The clinics of the future? Mini and mobile
The project is called SOS - Smart Operating Shelter and the idea is to build small structures to be used as mobile clinics, made of eco-friendly materials, which can be easily assembled and interconnected for the exchange of medical tests.
Panels made of plant or animal fibres will be developed and tested for their thermal and mechanical properties and for their resistance to mould, fungi and fire. ENEA will test the healthiness and comfort of the prototype, which is expected to be ready next year.
Co-funded by Regione Puglia, the project involves the ENEA Research Centre in Brindisi, the company R.I., project promoter, Politecnico di Bari, CETMA Consortium and the companies ENA Consulting, Kinema, Mespo and Protom group.
“Currently, many medical shelters are still made of materials that are not always 100% recyclable or reusable”, said Vincenza Luprano from ENEA’s Department for Sustainability. “This is why we are focusing our research on the creation of lightweight, more sustainable microarchitectures, able to ensure continuity of operation of hospitals in case of emergency or renovation”.
The project aims to address the need to respond to medical emergencies with mobile health units, able to reach users and communities, which can be easily reconfigured to meet technological advances in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.
It will also be possible to cut waiting lists by extending the catchment areas, improving the cost-benefit ratio while ensuring compliance with standards and excellent technological quality levels.