NHS Digital is running a series of trials to explore how cutting-edge wireless assistive technologies can support the delivery of better health and care to the public.

The Wireless Centre of Excellence trials are open for applications and allow NHS organisations to apply for funding for wireless and innovative technology that helps improve connectivity in health and care settings.

Previous NHS Digital wireless trials include 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.

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The Find and Treat service provides screening, testing and treatment for vulnerable, homeless and high-risk people in London.

Another wireless trial, funded by NHS Digital, has led to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust becoming the first 5G-connected hospital in the UK.

Through the trial, clinicians have access to digital innovations such as the eObs app (eObservations), which enables handheld devices to update patient records digitally and make live observations.

Patrick Clark, NHS Digital’s Director of Infrastructure Services, said: “Wireless technologies will continue to play an increasingly important role as the NHS looks to implement new models of care that allow patients to receive treatment at home or in mobile health settings.

“They will also help provide clinicians with access to data and digital systems wherever they need it. We are already seeing many of the benefits of cutting-edge wireless technology and innovation – from enabling real-time remote diagnosis in a mobile health unit to supporting live observations in the first 5G hospital in the UK.

“These projects are a step forward in digital transformation and will bring an array of benefits, particularly for those least able to access healthcare and for digitally isolated hospitals and health centres.

“We look forward to working with successful trialists this year to further realise the benefits of wireless technologies and high-speed connectivity in improving healthcare.”

Organisations that are either considering or are in the process of implementing, creative wireless solutions are encouraged to apply.

The current trials scheme is a one-year programme, although applications for longer trials will be considered.

Applicants will need to provide an overview of their wireless project and objectives, the anticipated outcome and impact for delivery of health or social care, and the healthcare need or technological challenge they are seeking to overcome.

For more information, visit Wireless Centre of Excellence trials – NHS Digital. Applications for the trials close Friday 29 July.

Recently, as part of a pioneering project that looks to revolutionise care, the NHS has given hundreds of patients with Parkinson’s disease “life-changing” smartwatches to allow doctors to remotely assess their condition.

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