Mobile Acute Services Hospital (MASH)

Rapid and efficient deployment of healthcare professionals, equipment and supplies to disaster zones are essential for survival and recovery. The HDR team designing the conceptual Mobile Acute Services Hospital (MASH) recognized that organizations such as the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders are often limited to temporary tent facilities that must be transported and then assembled, a process that in many instances wastes valuable time.

This video explores how the proposed MASH pod-based system of drones can be assembled anywhere without relying on existing infrastructure or a pre-prepared site. The system can hover above disaster zones, below the cruising altitude of commercial aircraft and at a safe distance from potential danger. The required “facility” would then be assembled from a series of modular clinical and support pods that can be linked together to create an elevated station.

When not in use, the pods would be stored at bases strategically located around the globe. Designed to be stackable like shipping containers, the appropriate mix of pods could be immediately distributed to a disaster site, where separate propeller units magnetically engage the stacked pods and lift them. Once in the air, they are remotely controlled from command centers and guided by GPS to their destination. While limited patient accommodation could be provided on board, the intention is for the pods to be used to stabilize and treat patients prior to transfer to a medical center or nearby safe location.

In a world where the incidence of catastrophes such as terrorist attacks, wars and climate change induced natural disasters is ever increasing, MASH is intended to provide a scalable and timely response appropriate to each situation.