Highland Health Ventures Ltd (HHVL) and Cambridge-based Wyld Networks are testing and deploying Wyld’s mobile mesh technology in care homes in Scotland to help protect residents, staff and visitors, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other viruses.
The Wyld technology will provide digital access and anonymised social distance monitoring & alerting through a mobile app using a mesh wireless network of connected smartphones and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Wyld and HHVL have already started the first implementation in a care home in Scotland, but say the technology has broader applications in helping other businesses get back to work.
The implementation harnesses the power of people’s mobile phones without relying on connections to cellular or WiFi networks. Data simply finds the quickest and easiest route by hopping between phones to deliver notifications, alerts and other content quickly and reliably, while also accurately measuring social distances. The Wyld system is also able to create virtual geozones around the space – in this case a care home – as well as dynamic personal geozones around everyone with the app. The self-diagnostic mobile app allows staff, residents and visitors to input COVID-19 test results and enter any symptoms. Those without a smartphone can be provided with an electronic wristband or similar. Anyone approaching a geozone is messaged to let them know if they are permitted to enter the zone.
Meanwhile, Wyld’s real-time data analytics platform, enables care home managers to identify anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who later displays symptoms.
“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,” said Wyld Network’s CEO, Alastair Williamson. “But it quickly became clear that it could play a vital role in protecting residents, staff and visitors in care homes, hospitals and hospices. We hope this system will provide a model that can be adopted more widely to deal with the current crisis, as well as to deliver real post-COVID benefits.”
Statistics from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that more than half the recorded coronavirus deaths in Scotland over recent weeks were in care homes. Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also reports that 12,526 care home residents have died due to the coronavirus in England and Wales between February and May 2020. But even beyond the COVID-19 crisis, such applications could enable the reduction in transmission and management of other infections.