Hospital in a Box (kind of)

Have been remiss on my container story reporting of late so this one is part of my rehabilitation, a hospital in a box, or container.

The German manufacturer ELA Container Offshore has delivered a 10ft offshore container based for medical treatment in the offshore wind industry.

Injuries and diseases in offshore windfarms always mean big challenges. The WINDEAcare concept offers a holistic acute¬ and emergency medical care service. Part of that concept is a fully equipped rescue helicopter, which, however, in various cases, e.g. during bad weather conditions cannot be used. For this then upcoming need for a patient transport on an appropriate vessel this container solution has been developed as supplement by WINDEAcare partner companies. The “MEDICbox” is a mobile 10 ft ELA Container solution with DNV 2.7-1/ EN 12079-1 certification and provides an adequate alternative to flight solutions whenever medical care cannot be provided by helicopter.

Read more here

Container hospital (1)

Container hospital (2)

Nify eh


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December 2, 2015 10:13 am

Looking at this.
Positives: bolt on full spectrum telemedicine is a life saver.
Negatives: space, it looks like you can only access the patient from one side, this is not great. But it’s true of most mobile options, air ambulance etc.

The internal space is around 9 by 7’4 maybe they could have looked at the ergonomics a bit more and tried to fit an examination couch across the middle, you would only have a one foot of space at the base of the couch if fully extended ( but you only need this space for medical staff to squeeze through, so unless they are large that’s fine) .But you would have a good 3 foot each side, this would allow multiple person access to the patients important bits.

If you went for a larger ELA container and included a toilet, washing facilities and a proper hospital standard bed etc you could evac the patient over a slightly longer distance. Although not sure what situation would call for this extended range version…..

December 2, 2015 12:25 pm

We actually had something similar out recently but someone sued the Army for copyright infringement. It makes sense to simply box up a hospital but once a company does what is essentially a packing job and copyright it, anyone doing something so simple is going to open himself to a lawsuit, even if it is essentially trying to patent fire or wheels. There was even a lawsuit on “red shoes” because there was a brand that used red shoes as their trademark, which is a bit stupid as you are trying to claim ownership of all the red shoes in the world…

Is the involvement by commercial companies a good thing or bad? I really can’t tell.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
December 2, 2015 12:41 pm

@Observer – maybe the laws are a little different in your neck of the woods, but I thought that you couldn’t patent a concept, only a specific design (The usual example given is the SF writer Arthur C Clarke, who first came up with the idea of geostationary communications satellites, but couldn’t patent the concept). Copyright applies only to printed material (or used to – IANAL, so I could be wrong)

December 2, 2015 8:19 pm

This reminds me about a press release I saw recently.

“The UK MOD has taken delivery of a mobile hospital system to enhance its operational medical capability as part of Future Force 2020.”

If the picture is of the actual one we’ve bought, it seems to be mostly comprised of soft shelters rather than containers, but either way it sounds like a great resource for the MOD to have.

Peter Elliott
December 2, 2015 8:30 pm

Thats fascinating Ed. I suppose the $64,000 question is can the new hospital units be deployed on board a ship? The reference to containerised units makes it sound possible. Taken aboard a Bay Class could this in fact be our “Argus Replacement” right there…?

December 2, 2015 9:27 pm

Shipping things by road or rail in boxes has been around since after WW1, what was really new was the standard nominal width and length and the corner support- locking unit which allowed them to be stacked for carrying at sea. Its not a perfect solution as around 10,000 containers per year are lost at sea.
I would have thought the problem above with a narrow width could be solved by having two containers which travel separately but lock together side by side with concertina or fold into the ceiling panels.

stephen duckworth
December 2, 2015 9:31 pm

On a offshore wind farm station which finds itself isolated due to a storm that prevents extraction such a unit mounted temporarily on a windmill in setup or during repair could save a life . The windmill even if partly assembled can provide shelter inside the tower during a storm but obviously lacks medical facilities preinstalled as they operate unmanned 364 days a year.The limited space on a tower base pretty much determines that a 10′ unit is only usable and green seas washing over the base limit any form of extension. .Great unit that can be moved from tower to tower at will.

December 2, 2015 10:46 pm

Complete containerized and insulated hospital in a box, including surgical wards, recovery and labs.
MOGOS mobile hospital, now being replaced by large tents) –

December 4, 2015 5:39 am
Reply to  Observer

The red shoes case was actually about red soles, primarily on ladies high heels – much more unique and recognisable, hence the trademark battle.

December 4, 2015 2:20 pm