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New app tackles spread of Covid in care homes



A new app is being deployed to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 in care homes in the Highlands.

NHS Highlands together with Highland Health Ventures and Wyld Networks are deploying the new technology which will also help combat other viruses.

The technology, which has been developed by Wyld Networks, uses an app on smartphones and geozones to create 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.

It also generates heat maps in real time to visualise areas where social distancing is being inadvertently broken.

As a result changes can then be made to the building layouts, routines and room occupancy numbers.

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

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, said: “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 Highland Health Ventures, said: “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 re-boot the economy.”

Highland Health Ventures 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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