In common with the rest of the UK the West Midlands needs to reduce pressure on health and care systems, helping citizens to better manage their own health. 5G is a key component; providing the connectivity to deliver care and support away from the clinic and in the community or at home.
To shape our thinking, we have continued working with health practitioners and commissioners from across the region. We’re engaged with major hospital, community and mental health trusts, primary care practices and networks, the ambulance trust and clinical commissioning groups.
Out of a series of engagement events, and informed by the changing demands created by COVID-19, we are currently focused on three priority project areas:
remote monitoring and support of care home patients
home delivery of endoscopy services to help tackle bowel cancer
connected ambulances to improve at-scene and in-transit care
Common to all these application areas is the need for the transfer of high quality data and images at the same time as patient engagement via video consultation or more immersive technologies. 5G provides the performance necessary to support these improvements in healthcare efficiency and deliver patient benefits by enabling access to expert care at the point of need wherever that is – in the home or at an incident.
For example, in our care home project we are already helping GPs across the region deliver ‘virtual ward rounds’ using sophisticated but easy to use diagnostic tools placed in the care home which a GP can utilise from a remote location. This ensures we minimise exposure to COVID-19 and other possible infections and GPs can also respond quickly to any identified issues avoiding unnecessary hospital visits for frail and elderly patients.
In our endoscopy project we are hoping to take this a stage further, using 5G to allow an important diagnostic test to be undertaken in the comfort of the patient’s home, with a virtual link to the consultant, and avoiding hospital visits which place a pressure on the hospital and are inconvenient for patients.
WM5G working with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB) and BT showcased in June 2019 how 5G can transform healthcare and the emergency services - with the UK’s first demonstration of a remote-controlled ultrasound scan over a public 5G network.
An innovative new pilot scheme has launched in the West Midlands aiming to give patients the ability to undergo a procedure to detect the causes of digestive or stomach complaints in the privacy of their homes. Read More >
Adrian Smith, West Midlands 5G's Health & Social Care Lead, will be discussing health connectivity in the post-COVID world in the next In-Orbit Podcast, which will launch on Tuesday 13th April. Read More >
West Midlands 5G's Health and Social Care Lead, Adrian Smith, has been featured in the latest issue of The Carer magazine, discussing how 5G will help to transform social care provision and improve patient safety. Read More >
Vulnerable care home residents in Coventry have had their risk from Covid-19 significantly reduced after becoming the first in the UK to receive contact-free treatment from GPs using 5G technology. Read More >
Leveraging 5G technologies to significantly improve the nation’s health and well being. Together BT, the University of Warwick and Warwickshire County Council are hosting this event, one of three. Read More >
Chair of WM5G, Mark Stansfeld will be speaking in a webinar at 2pm on Monday 6th July 2020. "Supercharging UK plc with 5G – exploring the economic opportunity" is a free webinar looking at the potential of 5G to power the digital economy. Read More >
Long before the outbreak of COVID-19, our healthcare system was already under a significant amount of pressure. There is an inherent need to improve our healthcare system – with new technologies including 5G vital to improving patient care. Read More >
On the back of the WM5G demonstration event at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) in June, where we showcased how 5G can transform healthcare and the emergency services, we have been interviewed by the European Health Journal. Read More >
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