Care home residents in Coventry, West Midlands have become the first in the UK to receive contact-free treatment from GPs using 5G technology.
The innovative healthcare trial, which has been developed in partnership with West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and Tekihealth – a small telemedicine company founded by two General Practitioners – has enabled GPs to provide treatment during the pandemic without the need to set foot inside care homes.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street visited the Alison Gingell Building part of Coventry University for a demonstration of the technology and its benefit to residents.
Commenting on the trial he said: “While the outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted how vulnerable patients in care homes can be, it was clear even before the pandemic that we needed an effective solution to provide essential care to our most vulnerable patients.
“Giving staff and GPs the technology necessary to safeguard patients while being able to perform thorough examinations is an important first step to deliver on our commitment to improving healthcare across the region.”
The 5G connected diagnostics tool called Teki-Hub, not only means less physical contact, limiting the risk of contracting coronavirus for both patients and GPs, but also frees up valuable travel time allowing the doctors to treat more patients both at the care homes and back at their surgery.
Teki-Hub provides high resolution photography, video, thermometer readings and otoscope readings (a medical device used to look into the ear) as well as, portable ECG and spirometry ie lung function data. This makes it possible for patients to receive a full examination as their GP receives the patient’s clinical information in real-time from the device operated by staff at the five local care homes.
Thanks to its effectiveness at the initial five locations, local health economies are keen to pursue extension to a possible 1,000 care homes across the region. NHS is funding remote vital signs tracking and 5G solutions will provide a natural and complementary extension.