Case study: New mobile mesh to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in care homes

Author : Alastair Williamson | CEO | Wyld Networks

01 January 2021

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Care homes have been at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, suffering tragic losses among residents & staff. While the situation has improved, many residents remain at high risk & have not been able to see their relatives properly for many months.

The full version of this case study was originally featured in the January 2021 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in March 2020, Office of National Statistics (ONS) data shows there have been tens of thousands of deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19. The experience of COVID-19 has also demonstrated the vulnerabilities of care homes when faced with future pandemics or even common annual viruses. Here, Alastair Williamson, CEO at expert in secure, intelligent connectivity for IoT & 5G, Wyld Networks explains how its new mobile mesh technology, developed for crowds, is helping care homes to cope with COVID-19 and future viruses.

The NHS and care home sector has been keen to explore how technology could help. In Scotland, NHS Highland and HHVL (Highland Health Ventures Ltd) – an independent company with a collaboration agreement with NHS Highland for the purpose of developing innovations in healthcare – has been looking at using new mobile mesh technology to help protect residents, staff and visitors. The mobile mesh technology has been developed by UK start-up, Wyld Networks, originally for applications such as major sporting events, music festivals, retail centres and transport hubs to deliver relevant, location-aware information. The technology is currently being deployed in Castlehill Care Home in Inverness, one of several care homes owned by Morar Living, part of the Simply UK Group.

A mesh network is a collection of smartphones and IoT devices that are connected directly to each other, in a device-to-device (d2d) mode and decentralised topology. The network is created without the need for traffic to be passed through a centralised set of nodes, as in a traditional wireless network comprising of base stations, Wi-Fi access points and core networks. Instead, the traffic hops from smartphone directly to other smartphones and IoT devices within a certain proximity of each other to find the quickest and easiest route to deliver notifications, alerts and other content quickly and reliably, while also accurately measuring social distancing. This also means that the mesh network can carry traffic in areas where the traditional networks are congested or there is no coverage.

Read the full article in EPDT's January 2021 issue...


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