O2 has announced its partnership with the NHS to launch a trial of a 5G connected COVID-19 clinic-on-wheels. The mobile clinic is designed to provide remote testing and tracking of care home residents and workers in Glasgow. The clinic can also deliver essential medical supplies. This will make testing more efficient and safer than ever.

The University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School and James Watt School of Engineering, and O2’s Darwin Innovation Group have collaborated to bring this 5G-powered mobile clinic to life.

The trial will begin this summer and will track COVID-19 at six different care homes in Glasgow. This totals to 550 residents and care workers who will be tracked over the course of three months. If all goes well, the plan is to roll out the mobile testing unit across the West of Scotland Region.

Where does 5G come in?

Connected Mobile Health Clinic (CMHC) will share the results of the COVID-19 tests performed to a secure cloud server via O2’s mobile network. The mobile clinic will then provide a dashboard of real-time epidemiological analysis to the NHS, the Scottish Government and public health organisations. The vehicle’s movements and results will also be tracked.

Thanks to the power of 5G, key workers will have much less contact with COVID-19 when testing and results can be accessed much more efficiently.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer at O2, said, “We’re delighted to be supporting this project with our 4G and 5G network to help the Scottish Government and NHS tackle and manage COVID-19. The Darwin laboratory in Glasgow was only officially opened at the start of this year and it’s exciting to be able to show so quickly how we can use innovations in 5G technology to unlock crucial solutions for society and revolutionise the way we use mobile connectivity.

“O2 is at the forefront of connectivity which is now one of the UK’s most valued services. As we look to rebuild Britain, we are constantly looking at how our customer-centric networks can help support this country.”

The CMHC is providing an innovative solution to COVID-19 testing in Scotland and focusses on the vulnerability of care homes throughout this pandemic. The NHS will use the project to further pursue remote diagnostics and even tele-consultations.

NHS continues to embrace 5G

This isn’t the first time the NHS has used 5G to find innovative medical solutions. In October 2019 the world’s first tele-examination of an eye using 5G broadband was carried out at Moorfields Eye Hospital in East London.

The tele-examination was streamed using a 5G network and in an impressive 4K resolution. The results of the test demonstrated that images of a high enough quality could be used in a clinical environment and streamed in real-time thanks to 5G.

This continues to show the NHS’ support of using 5G technology to make procedures more efficient and safer for patients. It’s also a brilliant way to provide live training for pupils.