A social distancing app to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in care homes is being developed by NHS Highland and technology company Wyld Networks.
Plans for trials of the smartphone app and its roll out to care homes in the Scottish Highlands are under way.
Alastair Williamson, chief executive of Wyld Networks, said: “Our mesh technology was originally designed for applications such as major sporting events, music festivals, retail centres and transport hubs to deliver relevant, location-aware information.
“But it quickly became clear that our Wyld mesh could play a vital role in protecting residents, staff and visitors in care homes, hospitals and hospices. We hope the system created with Highland Health Ventures [HHVL] will provide a model that can be adopted more widely to deal with the current crisis, as well as deliver real post-COVID benefits.”
The system will require all residents, staff and visitors to download the app on their smartphone and wear an electronic wristband to store information. They will then need to create their own risk profile by adding any COVID-19 test results and symptoms to be analysed by a self-diagnostic algorithm.
Virtual geozones will then be implemented around the care home and any areas that require additional quarantining. On approaching a geozone, staff and visitors will immediately be sent a message stating whether or not they are permitted to enter the area.
Frances Hines, research, development and innovation manager at NHS Highland, said: “Supporting innovation across the healthcare system is more important than ever and will be central to securing transformation and improved care.
“Creating the conditions for more collaborative approaches to innovation and enabling the adoption of cost-effective new technologies will be key, and we are pleased to be working together with Wyld and HHVL to deliver innovative potential solutions for care homes.”