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Suppliers make further offers in coronavirus battle


Mark Say Managing Editor

The trend of digital technology suppliers and organisations offering support for the public sector in dealing with coronavirus has continued in recent days.

Digital twin specialist Iotics has launched its CriticalCare Project to provide real time status updates of critical care bed availability across the UK. It has created a digital twin of every hospital in the country, including the number of critical care beds, and is encouraging authorities and hospitals to provide the bed availability data, making the technology available at no cost.

The company said it has the potential to add new sources of data on test results, ventilator utilisation, patient administration and other factors. All this can support hospital managers in coordinating resources.

Digital identify firm Imprivata has made licences for its Confirm ID for Remote Access service available at no cost to the NHS for the duration of the pandemic. This can give healthcare professionals access to critical systems and sensitive patient data from any location.

The company’s clinical workflow specialist Dr Dan Johnston said: “We have put together a simple licence agreement providing unlimited licences for all users regardless of whether they are currently using Imprivata. This will ensure that IT departments can act immediately without worrying about budgets and can mobilise staff at this critical time.”

Tecan Freedom EV 100 machine in use

Drug discovery and pre-clinical services company Sygnature Discovery has loaned its Tecan Freedom EVO 100 liquid handling machine to the Government’s new Lighthouse Labs in Milton Keynes. The machine has been designed to automate the pipetting of multiple samples in laboratories undertaking biological testing. It is considerably faster than manual pipetting and claimed to provide for better assay reproducibility, and to allow resources and testing equipment to be used more efficiently.

The company said the machine is usually used by its chemistry group, and it has made it available to the Government after an approach from the Prime Minister’s Office.

An international element has emerged with World Health Organisation and International Telecommunication Union saying they will work with telecom companies to text people directly to their mobile phones with messaging to protect them from the virus.

They have called on companies worldwide to join the initiative, which builds on current efforts to disseminate health messages through their [email protected] BeMobile effort.

Another international effort has come from digital identity specialist Folio in making its Mobile Health Passport available free to governments around the world. It said this could play a significant role in helping economies to recover after countries can ease their lockdowns.

As authorities verify the health status of individuals they will be able to issue them with an immutable, biometrically secure digital health passport on their smartphones. This will clear people for work and could help to step up the momentum of economic activity.

Some suppliers are also looking to the wellbeing of people on the fringes – even those in prison. Unilink Technology Services has made its Video Visits service available free of charge for three months, to enable prisoners to stay in touch with family and friends while social distancing prevents physical visits.

It said this is an important factor in preserving the mental wellbeing of prisoners and improves their chances of rehabilitation.

Image: Tecan Freedom EVO 100 in use, from Sygnature

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