At the end of July 2020, the Liverpool 5G Consortium was awarded £4.3m by DCMS to to support health and social care technologies as part of our £7.2m project: Liverpool 5G Create: Connecting Health and Social Care.
This work builds on the previous 5G Health and Social Care Testbed in Kensington, increasing the area covered, upgrading the network technology and trialing new use cases in health and social care.
The project started in September 2020, and will run until March 2022.
The consortium is led by the University of Liverpool with partners Liverpool City Council, Blu Wireless Technology Ltd, Broadway Partners Ltd, Liverpool John Moores University, CGA Simulation Ltd, Docobo Ltd, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust. The project is managed and supported by the eHealth Cluster Ltd with further services supplied by Telet Research (NI) Ltd, AIMES Management Services Ltd and Real Wireless Ltd.
The project aims to reduce digital poverty for vulnerable people in need, providing safe, free and accessible connectivity to services including health, social care and education.
We want to:
- Change people’s lives by reducing digital poverty, and providing digital health, social care and education support where it’s needed most
- Help people with long-term health conditions live independently at home for longer by using our 5G supported health and social care technology, freeing up valuable health and social care resources and saving money
- Provide the technology for children to home-school online, reducing the inequalities of technology provision
- Enable health and social care providers to offer robust, reliable digital health applications as an alternative to face-to-face interventions
- Create a safe, reliable and robust private 5G network with ubiquitous coverage across the network area
- Support the UK’s Covid-19 recovery by enabling British built technology and innovation to thrive in a meaningful and sustainable way
- Create practical, affordable digital solutions to replace the analogue telehealth technologies which will be turned off in 2025
- Deliver a blueprint for using 5G networks to deliver public services.
What we’re doing
- Developing a private, independent 5G network for delivering public services
- Building on the previous successful Liverpool 5G Testbed
- Upgrading our existing network technology
- Using world-leading 5G technology
- Increasing the physical area covered
- Trialling new-to-5G, and in some case entirely new, devices and apps in health and social care (see below).
- Working with key organisations from the NHS, the social care sector, local government, national government.
And building a network that addresses needs:
- The network is designed to provide the Service Level needed for health and social care applications
- Connectivity is provided via Wi-Fi or cellular with no charge to the resident, meaning remote monitoring is available to all, even where there’s no broadband
- Liverpool 5G bear the costs of deployment and maintenance – residents will not incur any usage costs
- Health services, care homes, supported living, and home care can access for free (or less than current costs), freeing up spend for frontline services.
- A unique health, social care & education ‘network-of-networks’ that incorporates mmWave 60ghz mesh network, small cell radio technology for ‘not spots’, & LoRaWan backhaul for IoT telehealth devices.
We are trialing a range of health devices and applications:
- Pressure Ulcer Management System – Mobile technology which uses AI imaging techniques and emerging camera technologies to categorise pressure ulcers remotely and send high-quality images to practitioners for diagnosis
- Chill Panda – A playful, interactive app which helps children manage their anxiety. It uses a built in AI driven recommendation engine to create personalized anxiety reduction content for users.
- Urine Monitoring Unit – Uses optical technique to detect infections in urine, and transmits ultra-resolution images to GP surgeries for analysis, and performs at the same high level as current standard tests in NHS
- MySense – A new range of telecare equipment, which uses AI to monitor nutrition, hydration, independence, and activity via IoT (Internet of Things) sensors around the home, and alerts support networks to any changes in behaviour or deterioration
- Vitalerter – Sensor for under a care home bed that monitors the vital signs of the resident. Using AI, it notifies staff when the resident is about to get out of bed, reducing the number of falls.
- Telehealth Monitoring via Docobo Devices – the Care Portal device is used by the patient, includes a built-in ECG monitor, and connects to Telehealth Hub staffed by nurses and HCAs.
- Education – Providing connectivity for pupils at home in Kensington for home-schooling and remote learning
- Haptic Hug – Haptic shirt to allow care home residents to receive remote hugs from family, reducing isolation and loneliness in care homes
We are also running a 5G WAN Pilot for NHS Sites – providing 5G connectivity to NHS sites for public access and clinical use. This reduces costs of a fibre-delivered WAN network and provides low latency, high bandwidth, secure WAN network for ongoing increase in digital clinical services.