As part of the government’s 5G strategy for the UK Sensor City has been awarded a £3.5 million grant to investigate the opportunities of 5G community Wi-Fi in health and social care.
The government’s strategy aims to keep Britain at the forefront of connectivity by accelerating the deployment of next generation digital infrastructure and driving forward new 5G business opportunities.
The movement is spearheaded by the department for digital, culture, media and sport, the 5G testbeds and trials programme will see consortiums across the country receive between £2 million and £5 million government grants of a £25 million competition, as part of a total investment of £41 million from private and public sector funding.
Sensor City will lead a consortium made up of public sector health suppliers, the NHS, university researchers, local SMEs and a leading UK 5G technology vendor to explore fifth generation mobile communications technologies.
Funded for one year in the first instance, the project will see high value technologies including low-cost open source 5G networks, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things deployed across deprived communities in the Liverpool City Region test bed.
Alison Mitchell, executive director at Sensor City, said: “Sensor City is proud to lead on what is set to be a truly groundbreaking project with a consortium of like-minded partners. The government’s 5G strategy for the UK presents a fantastic opportunity to transform the lives of many, especially through health and social care, so I think I speak for all partners when I say we’re excited to see this work unfold over the next five years.”
Discussing the grant and what it will mean for health and social care, Professor Joe Spencer of the University of Liverpool and academic lead for Sensor City, explained: “A successful demonstration of a 5G testbed in health and social care will see the development of new, innovative and disruptive technologies that will help to bridge the digital divide in the UK, especially in deprived communities.
“5G Wi-Fi will not only enable the development of new cost-effective products and services to address real needs and demand, but also bring huge social and economic benefits for the most vulnerable in society, while reducing the demand on hospital-based services.”