This work builds on the previous 5G Health and Social Care Testbed, increasing the area covered, upgrading the network technology and trialing new use cases.
The current pandemic has led to an increase in remote services and has highlighted the impact of digital poverty on health inequalities, and the need for equal access to technology across different communities. By providing free, reliable connectivity - a key barrier to the adoption of technology in public services - the project will demonstrate the benefits of affordable connectivity to those for whom data charges and current connectivity costs are prohibitive, whilst reducing costs and saving clinician time for stretched healthcare services like the NHS. In addition, 1.7 million people in the UK rely on analogue telephone services, which will be switched off in 2025. Liverpool 5G Create can plug that gap and create an efficient replacement.
The health, social care and education applications have measurable social benefits, with Use Cases including remote GP consultations, a remote urine monitoring tool, a device to diagnose and monitor pressure ulcers, and telehealth services that improve services for users, whilst reducing costly home visits from healthcare providers.
Developing a private, independent 5G network means: the network can be designed to provide the Service Level needed for Health, Social Care & Education applications; connectivity can be provided with no charge to the resident, democratising public services; health services can access the network for free, or less than they currently pay, freeing up money for frontline services; and digital services that save both time and money for public services can be used.