University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) is trialling an always connected remoted diagnostic station.
Developed by BT, it enables clinicians to provide remote clinical support to colleagues using digital stethoscopes and electrocardiograms (ECGs) to review and provide diagnoses for patients – away from their locations – in real time and over a converged 4G/5G and Wi-Fi network.
The station includes a high definition camera that can be worn by colleagues in the patient setting, giving clinicians a clear bedside view of patients.
UHB – described by BT as the largest trust in the UK – is currently trialling the station in its Norman Power Centre, an off-site facility that provides intermediate care for patients who are preparing to return home. Clinicians from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, supported by nursing colleagues at the centre, have been testing real time and virtual consultations using the station’s end-to-end connectivity solutions.
The trial complements UHB’s outpatient video consultations, which have been stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Zoe Wyrko, consultant geriatrician at the trust, said: “The remote diagnostic station very much fits with the trust’s vision of innovation. It allows us to link professionals and teams in different settings with each other so that skills and expertise can be shared. Patients can be treated effectively and safely in the best environment for them.
“The trial at Norman Power has shown us the potential of the equipment, and I believe that such innovations will help strengthen relationships and co-working with health and social care partners across the Birmingham and Solihull system.”
The trial is the latest stage in a long term partnership between UHB and BT, and follows last year’s trial of remote ultra sound and a connected ambulance.