Visitors to this year’s Australasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA) Conference in Canberra, held from 12 to 14 October, had the opportunity to see the latest innovations in deployable healthcare solutions showcased by Serco. DesignInc worked closely with Serco, Global Defence Solutions (GDS) and GE Healthcare (GE) to design a deployable healthcare facility to meet the needs of the military and air medical operations in treating critical patients in the field. The scalable, fully functional hospital can be adapted to the user in a variety of terrains and locations.

Serco has more than 50 years’ experience in providing critical support services to defence forces around the world. Its strategic alliance with GDS and GE provides the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with the capability to respond rapidly wherever scalable healthcare is needed: overseas, in remote areas or for local emergencies. Under this alliance, Serco Australia delivers integrated logistics management solutions, while GDS and GE provides world-leading shelter innovations and medical technologies.


DesignInc Sydney and Melbourne worked with Serco, GDS, GE and former ADF Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General Dr Paul Alexander to develop the deployable solution that meets the significant current and future needs of ADF personnel. “It was an exhilarating, out-of-the-box type project to work with a team that combined completely different specialties and to provide a contemporary medical facility in an unconventional building fabric,” says DesignInc Sydney Senior Designer Karen du Toit.

The project includes two types of deployable healthcare facilities to serve the role and needs of the army and the air force. The smaller army facility needed to meet strict weight limitations as personnel carry the entire facility to locations. The larger air force facility is transported in expandable shipping containers and needed to be scalable to provide a full-fledged hospital. Each needed to be adaptable for unknown site requirements and terrain.

The solution comprises small-scale tent modules that can be erected and expanded to provide hospital facilities as well as staff accommodation. More complex modules meet the requirements for rehabilitation, CT/imaging, blood pathology, surgery and environmental health testing, and have expandable shell structures that also form the containers for storage and transportation of the tents and equipment.

DesignInc developed and assembled the tenting modules and expandable containers in the GDS factory, testing the viability of the design by setting them up with some of the proposed equipment and furniture.

Visitors to the AMMA had the opportunity to do a virtual walk-through of the tented facility. Serco provides logistics support for more than 100 ADF bases and barracks, despatching 10,000 consignments and maintaining 30,000 pieces of medical equipment each year. The project is still at bid stage and we look forward to seeing the final solution aid ADF personnel in treating critical patients.

You can read more about Serco and the AMMA here: