Virgin Media O2 Business has operated the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital, building a private network that will be used to power new digital health experiences.
Pilots at Bethlem Royal Hospital, part of South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, are investigating the efficiency, safety and security of using 5G technologies to improve care, increase efficiency and reduce waste.
Areas of interest include the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI).
Stuart McClellan, Acting Chief Information Officer at South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust added: “Explore and use the latest technology supports our primary strategic goal to deliver premium mental health care to the people who use our services, their caregivers and their families.”
“We are proud to partner with Virgin Media O2 Business to create the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital, which enables us to use digital innovations to improve patient outcomes. This is a very exciting step forward.”
5G-connected feedback (eObs) allows clinicians to digitally update patient records and take live feedback, using a private cellular network that offers more reliable advertising security than Wi-Fi. We hope patient rounds will take less time and collect more accurate data.
IoT technology will be used to ensure medicines are stored at an optimum temperature, track air quality in suites, and monitor occupancy in offices and in meeting rooms. Meanwhile, augmented reality applications will help improve IT support, and artificial intelligence will analyze CCTV footage to get a better idea of how to plan public spaces and handle waiting times. All data is anonymous, so patient privacy is protected.
“The NHS has been a cornerstone of British society for nearly 75 years, and today, we are proud to announce the operation of the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital – demonstrating how next-generation technology can help create a smarter, modern hospital,” said Mike Smith, Director Large Institutions and the Public Sector in Virgin Media O2 Business, “Healthcare Service for All”.
“Our goal is to map the process of rolling out wireless and smart connectivity to hospitals across NHS ownership over the next three to five years. Experiences like this are an embodiment of our mission to develop the UK, and a clear sign of the role we can play in helping to shape the future NHS.”
Other partners in the scheme include NHS Digital, Bruhati and Nokia.