A care home in Inverness is to run the first trial of mesh based technology developed by NHS Highland to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Castlehill Care Home is preparing to begin the trial in October, with the health board hoping it could lay the ground for wider use of the solution.
Developed with Cambridge based technology company Wyld Networks, it uses a mobile app and geozones of software based virtual walls.
It requires anyone entering the homes to self-declare any conditions on the app so the software can decide whether they can enter based on levels on risk. Residents are likely to need the support of others using the app for them, or possibly use a wearable device.
The mesh technology makes connections through cellular or Wi-Fi networks, making it possible for data to ‘hop’ between phones to deliver notifications, alerts and other content, while also measuring social distancing.
Once inside the care home, the solution monitors social distancing between individuals, generating real time heat maps to visualise where it is being broken and raising alerts when necessary. This can provide information to support changes in building layouts, routines and room occupancy.
In the case of an outbreak of the virus, those at risk can be information and scheduled for testing.
Frances Hines, research, development and innovation manager at NHS Highland, said: “NHS Highland is interested in implementing many new measures to support care homes to help protect residents and staff and assist in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
“We are now seeking to bring together innovative technologies to deploy in care homes who wish to participate in supporting these actions.”
Alan White, director at Highland Health Ventures – the health board’s collaboration partner – said: “We believe that deploying this new solution from Wyld Networks will go a long way to help prevent further outbreaks of the virus not only in care homes, but also in business in general to help get people back to work safely and re-boot the economy.”
Image from Wyld Networks