News, NHS trust

Wireless tech trials seek to boost health and care connectivity for NHS organisations

NHS England has launched a new Wireless Trials programme seeking to enhance the potential of current and emerging wireless technologies in delivering digital healthcare services, with NHS organisations invited to take part to explore how these technologies could improve patient care.

Funding applications for proposals aiming to maximise efficiency of existing digital infrastructure or improve connectivity in health and care settings are now open via the Connectivity Hub. Successful applicants will receive NHSE advice, guidance and funding for their chosen project, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other organisations on Wi-Fi improvement projects.

In addition, NHSE will capture best practice from successful trialists and share findings across the system in order to scale learnings.

Work from previous wireless trials is highlighted, such as University College London Hospitals’ ‘Find and Treat’ service, which “uses high-tech tools and software to provide real-time remote diagnosis and referrals on board a mobile health unit”, enabling the provision of remote services for vulnerable, homeless and high-risk individuals in London. In addition, a trial led by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has led to them becoming “the first 5G-connected hospital in the UK“.

Commenting on the trials, Stephen Koch, executive director of platforms at NHS England, said: “The wireless trials are designed to help the NHS understand how existing and emerging Wi-Fi solutions can support the delivery of better health and social care across the wider NHS. We look forward to working with successful trialists to explore opportunities for wireless technologies and high-speed connectivity that take another step forward in digital transformation and in improving patient care.”

In other recent news from NHSE, we have covered the new implementation guide for the use of health IT in supporting clinical decisions, which sets out the vision for clinical decision support systems and suggests key actions to be taken as part of wider digital transformation strategies.

Earlier this month we also shared NHSE’s guidance on the requirements of digital technologies supporting virtual wards across integrated care systems; and the specification for system co-ordination centres, including digital software requirements and metrics to be monitored.