The government has invited the UK’s top tech innovators to help design a new ‘space age’ hospital.
The hospital could use technologies and techniques pioneered on missions to Mars or the International Space Station to help treat patients and make life easier for hard-working NHS staff.
Up to £5m of UK Space Agency funding is available to support a joint initiative with the Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme.
The programme is part of the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan, which includes the provision of 40 new hospitals across England by 2030.
The space-enabled services could be inspired by a whole range of activities and technologies pioneered by the UK’s growing space sector, which currently contributes nearly £15bn to GDP and supports 42,000 jobs.
They might include new diagnostic tools, improved logistics by tracing goods or using drones, improving hospital parking or better patient reach using tele-rehabilitation or care.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “The UK is a world leader in using space technology and data to tackle the challenges we face on Earth, and this initiative is another example of how one of our most thriving sectors is driving improvements in everyday life. As we build back better from the pandemic, I am confident that UK businesses large and small will come forward to produce some truly awe-inspiring ideas to help design this space-age hospital, support our heroic NHS staff and ultimately save lives.”