Residents of a group of care homes in Coventry have received remote consultations with local GPs through a trial of a 5G connected diagnostics tool.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have highlighted the project, which has been developed by WM5G – the programme to promote the technology in the region – and Tekihealth, a small telemedicine company set up by two local GPs.
It has involved the use of the Teki-Hub tool, which provides high resolution photography, video, thermometer and otoscope readings, portable electrocardiograms and spirometry data. Combined with video conferencing and other apps this makes it possible for GPs to give patients a full examination and record their clinical information.
It also enables GPs to carry out fully remote ward rounds in care homes, monitoring vital signs and making diagnoses of residents.
WMCA has said this could prove to be a great asset in treating care home residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It said it has proved effective at five care homes so far and there is now an ambition to roll it out to up to 1,000 in the region.
Need to safeguard patients
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “While the outbreak of Covid-19 has highlighted how vulnerable patients in care homes can be, it was clear even before the pandemic that we needed an effective solution to provide essential care to our most vulnerable patients.
“Giving staff and GPs the technology necessary to safeguard patients while being able to perform thorough examinations is an important first step to deliver on our commitment to improving healthcare across the region.”
The trial follows a project last summer when WM5G conducted the UK’s first remote ultrasound scan over 5G in a trial with University Hospitals Birmingham and BT. This enabled a doctor many miles away to provide guidance to the paramedic and remotely diagnose conditions.
Image: Tekihealth co-founder Dr Stephen Katebe and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street