NHS Highland care home technology image
Image depicts how a geozone would work in a care home to detect if people are social distancing

In the fight against coronavirus, NHS Highland, Highland Health Ventures (HHVL) and Wyld Networks are working together to deploy technology to help reduce the spread of viruses, including COVID-19, in care homes.

Developed by Wyld Networks, the technology uses an app on smartphones and geozones, which are software-based virtual walls surrounding the care home. The software decides whether visitors and staff can or cannot enter the facility based on peoples’ health status and level of risk.

Once inside the care home, the technology monitors and alerts social distancing between staff, visitors and residents. Additionally, heat maps are generated in real-time to visualise areas where social distancing is being inadvertently broken. Changes can then be made to the building layouts, routines and room occupancy numbers.

In the case of a COVID-19 outbreak, those at risk can be informed and scheduled for testing within the NHS.

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Frances Hines, Research, Development & Innovation Manager at NHS Highland, said: “NHS Highland is interested in implementing many new measures to support care homes to help protect residents and staff and assist in preventing the spread of Covid-19. We are now seeking to bring together innovative technologies to deploy in care homes who wish to participate in supporting these actions.”

The technology is currently being developed by Wyld Networks and the first care home to use it, which is expected to be from October, will be Castlehill Care Home in Inverness, led by HHVL under the guidance of NHS Highland.

Castlehill Care Home is one of several care homes owned by Morar Living, part of the Simply UK Group.

Linda Meston, Director of Care for Morar Living, commented: “We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality care while giving our residents the choices that they would have if they were living independently. We have created a safe environment for our residents and staff in our care homes and believe that technology will play a vital role in ensuring that continued safety.”

Highland Health Ventures (HHVL) is a company established with the remit to bring innovation into the healthcare system and has a collaboration agreement with NHS Highland and Wyld Networks.

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