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SLAM NHS Trust runs trials on 5G network


Mark Say Managing Editor

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South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) has begun two trials of digital technology running on a private 5G network.

The mental health trust has been working with Virgin Media O2 Business to set up the network as part of its move to become the UK’s first 5G connected hospital, and has launched its Maudsley Smart Hospital and Maudsley Smart Pharmacy pilots on two wards of the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

They involve providing connectivity to power e-observations, with clinicians using handheld devices to update patient records, and linking up smart devices to monitor temperatures in medicine refrigerators and to track air quality in the wards.

The trials are part of the SLAM’s Digital Lab portfolio of digital health and innovation trials, funded by NHS Digital.

This will involve other initiatives using the network, including the deployment of the Remote Expert augmented reality remoted headset by maintenance teams, and the use of the AI powered Spatial Insights tool to create anonymised heat maps of crowd movements in the hospital to support planning of public areas.

Transformation specialist Bruhati and telecommunications company Nokia are also involved.

Smart hospitals

Mike Smith, large enterprise and public sector director at Virgin Media, said: “Our aim is to map out the roll out of wireless and smart hospital connectivity across the NHS estate over the next three to five years.”

Stuart MacLellan, acting CIO at SLAM, commented: “Exploring and using the latest technology supports our core strategic aim to deliver outstanding mental health care for people who use our services, their carers and families.”

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