Liverpool 5G Create showcases public health leveling

For the UK government’s plans to improve health, education and the economy to make sense, they must be accompanied by equal access to affordable connectivity, according to mobile health project driver Liverpool 5G Create , social welfare and education in the Kensington district of the city.

A $7.2 million DCMS-funded project, part of the 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, Liverpool 5G Create is led by the University of Liverpool, with partners Liverpool City Council, Blu Wireless Technology, Broadway Partners, Liverpool John Moores University, CGA Simulation, Docobo, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust. The project will be managed and supported by the eHealth cluster, with other services provided by Telet Research (NI), Aimes Management Services and Real Wireless.

The Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care Testbed went live in April 2018, with the Liverpool 5G Create: Connecting Health and Social Care project, announced in August 2020, aiming to develop a private and independent 5G network for health services and social in neighborhoods of the city.

The Liverpool 5G network uses small 5G cells, deployed on a mesh network that relies on proximity to ‘line of sight’ to operate effectively, particularly to support the kind of public sector technologies the project aims to provide, requiring a power source that offers the same power as a handset to work efficiently.

In addition, Liverpool’s 5G network was at launch considered unique, as a small-cell public sector hybrid 5G network of such scale had never been attempted before. Remote GP consultations supported by 5G, online wound management, haptic (remote hug) shirt, nursing home sensors, anti-anxiety app for children under eight and support for children learning at home during the Covid-19 pandemic were among the technologies. community tested.

Liverpool 5G Create offers services requiring connectivity to volunteers in the Kensington community at no cost to them for connectivity. The project’s 5G “network of networks” works using council-owned assets to provide a network that integrates LoRaWAN, Wi-Fi and cellular 5G.

Volunteers test life-changing technologies including: 5G-supported GP surgeries; medical supervision; fall prevention sensors; home school support; urine monitoring; AI-assisted wound management; and Chill Panda, an anti-anxiety game for kids, on wearables.

Committed to bridging the digital divide and delivering life-changing public sector technologies, the project has now built one of the largest private public sector 5G networks in Europe, and its developers now see their work at the heart of the plan. British government upgrade. agenda.

Indeed, Liverpool 5G points to the government’s white paper, noting: “The UK has greater geographical differences than many other developed countries on multiple measures, including productivity, wages, educational attainment and health.

In a city affected by these differences, Liverpool 5G believes that implementing digital equality will help the city “level up” significantly, as many learning, health and community services will be delivered online. in the future.

“The pandemic has led to an increase in remote services, highlighting the impact of digital poverty on health inequalities and the need for equal access to technology in different communities,” said the project director. , Rosemary Kay. “However, investing in people’s health and education must be a long-term commitment. Providing affordable connectivity to children in every community – allowing them to go to school at home or do their homework – will help the government achieve longer-term training, employment and education goals. improvement of well-being.

“Liverpool 5G supports Liverpool’s own upgrade ambitions,” said Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health at Liverpool City Council.

“Liverpool’s local plan cites ‘social value’ as a key marker for improving living standards in the area,” he said. “Liverpool 5G certainly delivers that as it provides a sustainable solution for many. People often do not access the public services they need because they cannot afford data and connectivity charges; what they can afford gives them unreliable connectivity. For the scale to be successful, we need to support innovative and affordable models of digital service delivery. »

Virtual reality

A recent addition to Liverpool’s technologies 5G Create was born out of a collaboration with Eden Universe – another DCMS-funded 5G project at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Residents of Liverpool’s Rowan Garth Care Home used virtual reality headsets and 5G-enabled iPads to sample a virtual day at The Eden Project – enjoying specially curated video content.

Sarah Chapple, Activities Coordinator at Rowan Garth, said: “Our residents loved the experience of exploring The Eden Project from our care home. A resident, Dennis, told me, “Sarah, that’s amazing. I will never get the chance to visit Cornwall or The Eden Project, but it’s the next best thing.

Other residents, using iPads, were able to explore on-screen video content, helping them become more confident on an iPad and giving them a virtual mini-adventure from their own living room.

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