London, UK – 04 July 2022 – Virgin Media O2 Business has switched on the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust – provider of the most extensive portfolio of mental health services in the United Kingdom.
The switch-on is part of Maudsley Digital Lab’s series of digital health and innovation trials funded by NHS Digital, with the private 5G network providing dedicated connectivity for mission-critical digital health use cases for both clinicians and patients. The trials are investigating the efficiency, safety and security benefits of using smart, 5G-connected technologies in NHS hospitals – including IoT (Internet of Things), AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence).
The Maudsley Smart Hospital and Maudsley Smart Pharmacy trials are now live across two wards at Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London. These include dedicated, near-real-time connectivity to power e-Observations, where clinicians use handheld devices to update patient records, saving valuable time and improving accuracy. It will also link up smart devices and monitoring to reduce expensive medicine waste and track the air quality in wards. In addition, hospital IT teams will have access to expert maintenance support in other hospitals thanks to Remote Expert (an AR tool), while the Trust will be able to better plan space in public areas using Spatial Insights, which uses AI to provide anonymised heat maps of crowd movement analysis using CCTV footage.
Part of South London and Maudsley’s Digital Lab portfolio of digital health and innovation trials, the trial is a collaborative development between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Digital, Virgin Media O2 Business, Bruhati and Nokia. It will test a number of use cases:
5G-connected e-observations (eObs)
The eObs app is designed to monitor patients’ vital signs, allowing clinicians to use handheld devices to update patient records digitally and make live observations. Virgin Media O2 Business’s private 5G network, leveraging Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC), will provide the dedicated, high-speed, reliable and secure data that health professionals need to stay connected in real time to the online e-observations platform, without needing to use the hospital’s WiFi network. This will save valuable time by allowing clinicians to complete their rounds more efficiently, and also makes for more accurate record-keeping for each individual patient.