Objectives of the service
Pandemic responses such as COVID-19 require a coordinated regional, national and international response where key personnel may be required to operate in a fully distributed but individually isolated environment. Traditional approaches to major emergencies usually involve the setup and running of a local, national and international series of command and control centres where experts, emergency response commanders, medical management and Government personnel gather to coordinate actions and responses. This approach is highly inefficient and also doesn’t match the restrictions that are put in place for pandemic responses where physical distancing, travel and self-isolation is imposed on individuals.
An IT driven solution is required to provide the full functions of a command and control centre in a distributed way, where even greater support to the individuals is required due to lack of face to face interactions. This "Virtual C&C centre" will provide all the key services and supports to facilitate effective coordination, communication, decision making and action management for key pandemic response personnel.
This IT solution is also required to help the stake-holders in processing and managing the sheer amount of data involved in tracking the pandemic evolution and tracing the contacts of the people found infected.
Users and their needs
The expected users, i.e. general practitioners, national, regional and local health bodies, hospitals and first responders on the ground are represented by the “National Health Service” and the “Irish Centre for Emergency Management” in Ireland and by the “Istituto Nazionale Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani” and “Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli” in Italy.
Their major needs are:
- Have all relevant information (e.g. current situation, key issues, priorities and actions) handled by a single and integrated system also providing virtual conference capabilities.
- Simplify the insertion / editing of alerts and notifications
- Facilitate and speed up the processing of the data involved in tracking the outbreaks evolution and tracing the contacts of the people found infected.
Service/ system concept
React 2 provides its end users with functions / capabilities like Virtual Information Boards, Task Tracking, Secure Video Conferencing, Common Operational Picture, Shared Whiteboard, Surge capacity, Automated Workflow and so on.
These functionalities are made available via a single integrated system, usually accessible via the normal communication infrastructures, i.e. Internet and mobile infrastructures.
Satellite communications are used when geographic restrictions, weather conditions or disasters might make the normal communication infrastructures unusable.
Space Added Value
Satellite communications are used when geographic restrictions, weather conditions or disasters might make the normal communication infrastructures unusable. Both in Ireland and Italy there will be:
- a fixed station (command and control centre – main hospital)
- a mobile station (deployed at the incident location e.g. camp hospital, on a Navy ship).
The used satellite services are “Avanti” and “Hylas” in Ireland and “Athena-Fidus” in Italy.
The REACT-2 system development phase has now been completed and the components implemented by the project’s software development partners have now been successfully integrated and deployed onto cloud-based computing infrastructure. The REACT-2 web application solution is now ready to be accessible by a range of invited end users during the pilot demonstration phase.
The project has successfully completed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) ESA review and is currently in the Pilot Demonstration Phase. The partners are currently focusing on the final preparation tasks for the commencement of the project pilot activities.
The pilot demonstrators will take place in parallel both in Ireland and Italy to validate the system features and to enable a range of end users to gain ‘hands-on’ experience in usage of the service. Different end user scenarios will be supported in the different country pilots each focusing on priorities identified by end users during the requirements gathering phase.
The main focus of the Irish pilot use cases trials will be on the ‘REACT-2 Virtual Command and Control boards services’ and in Italy the pilot use cases will focus on the ‘REACT-2 Back-Office services’. During both Ireland and Italian pilots Satellite communications will be deployed and utilised demonstrating the benefits of such high bandwidth KA-band services to support the different use cases which will be performed.
During the pilot phase, feedback from end users on the benefits of the system services over the current approaches, system usability and effectiveness will be constantly gathered by the project partners. A range of KPI’s, identified during the project development phase will also be monitored and verified that the system has achieved.