NHS Highland uses new technology to help protect care homes from COVID-19

Wyld Networks software creates virtual walls to gauge risk of cross contamination

Castlehill Care Home in Inverness will be the first to install new technology to help curb the spread of COVID-19

NHS Highland is working with Highland Health Ventures (HHVL) and Wyld Networks to deploy new technology in order to reduce the spread of viruses, including COVID-19, in care homes.

The technology, which has been developed by Wyld Networks, uses an app on smartphones and geozones, software-based virtual walls surrounding the care home.

The software decides whether visitors and staff can or cannot enter the facility based on their health status and risk level.

Once inside the care home, the technology monitors and alerts social distancing between staff, visitors and residents. Also, heat maps are generated in real-time to visualise areas where social distancing rules are being inadvertently broken.

Changes can then be made to the building layouts, routines and room occupancy numbers.

And, in the case of an outbreak of the virus, those at risk can be informed and scheduled for testing within the NHS.

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

Frances Hines, research, development and innovation manager at NHS Highland, said: “We are 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 which wish to participate in supporting these actions.”

The first care home to use the technology, from next month, will be Morar Living-owned Castlehill Care Home in Inverness, led by HHVL under the guidance of NHS Highland.

Linda Meston, director of care at Morar Living, said: “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.”

Alan White, a director of HHVL, added: “We have successfully implemented new innovative technologies into the healthcare system in Scotland, and believe that deploying this new solution from Wyld Networks will go a long way to help prevent further outbreaks of the virus; not only in care homes, but also in business in general to help get people back to work safely and reboot the economy.”

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