As we continue our journey through the #FutureofPublicSector, let’s hop onto the Medibus and travel to Germany to see how Cisco and the Deutsche Bahn are partnering to redefine the future of accessible healthcare.

Imagine searching for water in the desert. Kilometers of sand and sky span into the distance: open, empty of the resource you need. 

Now imagine a town. The streets are quiet, the storefronts shuttered. The countryside spans into the distance. 

In rural Germany – and across Europe as a whole, a new form of desert is emerging. The life-altering resource that has vanished?

Accessible Healthcare.

When we imagine the Future of Healthcare, it’s easy to imagine shining hospitals in urban centers, their rooms filled with doctors being trained with virtual reality and machines operating on patients with delicate precision. Or perhaps to picture a patient cozily conferencing with a doctor over telepresence from the comfort of their living room. While this is one facet, it does not show the full picture of the future of healthcare. 

Medibus in rural town bringing accessible healthcare

The reality of healthcare today in locations like the towns of rural Germany is that doctors are departing their practices for opportunities in bigger cities at an alarming rate. And aging citizens who are left behind do not have the mobility or the flexibility to reach urban appointments. Their future of healthcare looks very different.

In Germany’s Hesse region alone, there is a shortage of over 170 doctors. In the United Kingdom, for one General Practitioner, there are 2,000 patients. In France, 8% of citizens live in areas without enough doctors. These medical deserts are furling out across Europe with an aging global population and in tandem with continued trends toward urbanization.

Medibus driving through the countryside

That’s where the Medibus comes in.

The Medibus exists to be a medical practice in two situations: in towns where there is no longer a medical practice and in towns where the doctors who have been left behind struggle to meet increasing demand for healthcare.

Twice a week, the towns of Hesse come alive. As the benches in the towns’ centers fill, the air buzzes with conversation and the Medibus brings water to the desert. Created by the Deutsche Bahn and powered by Cisco technology, the Medibus travels from town to town. By uniting advances in mobility with the latest and greatest in collaboration technology, medical equipment, the Medibus is driving the future of healthcare through constant innovation and a hearty dose of entrepreneurship. 

Read the BBC StoryWorks Feature Article Here
specialist working in the medibus

Envisioning and Realizing the Future of Healthcare

The future of healthcare will enable doctors to treat patients from anywhere, to instantly connect to colleagues with diverse expertise. Treatment will better address everyone: every background, every language, every ailment.

The Medibus enables the future of healthcare today. It’s a cross-architectural approach when it comes to technology that truly showcases the power of networking by combining Mobility, IoT, Security, and Collaboration to change the way we access quality health services. Cisco brings together a unique set of digital capabilities and experience the bus come alive with the ability to deliver health services for people who need it. 

Three medibus buses together

An Award-Winning Concept

Winner of the German Mobility Award 2019, the Medibus embodies what a mobile, accessible, and inclusive future of healthcare will look like. Not only is the Medibus transforming healthcare in Germany, but it has the opportunity to transcend national boundaries. 

When looking at the Medibus, we can ask – and begin to answer: 

How might we use this concept to treat displaced populations?

Before the Medibus treated rural towns, it worked to treat Syrian refugees.

How can we make healthcare more accessible to all people? 

The Medibus reaches forgotten populations outside of cities and on the fringes of society.

How can we unite advances in mobility and sustainability with advances in healthcare? 

The Medibus utilizes environmental sensors, is powered by solar panels, and features the best and newest medical technology.

How will we treat an aging global population?

As the world’s population ages, we are tasked to find ways to reach them, to remember them, and to make their lives easier. The Medibus starts that process today.

side door of the medibus

Driving into the Future

Healthcare services are in a time of radical transformation. And we have the opportunity to write the future of care and define the future of our communities through innovation today. The Medibus shows us just what impact technology can have to make the inaccessible accessible and connect the unconnected. 

Explore How Cisco is Transforming Healthcare

We’d love to hear what you think. How do you think concepts like the Medibus will transform healthcare as we know it? Comment below and stay tuned for the next installment of our #FutureofPublicSector series as we continue our road trip to the Future of Public Safety.

Are your IT systems ready for the Future of Healthcare? Join Cisco at HIMSS 2020 from March 9 – 13.

Next Stop: The Future of Public Safety


Mirko Bass

Business Development

Smart & Connected Communities