CPI is set to revolutionise healthcare in the North East with 5G networks

09 Jul 2024

CPI has been awarded a share of a £1 million project that will explore how 5G technologies can improve and speed up the delivery of healthcare services in the North East of England.

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CPI will work with businesses that submit ideas to improve patient flow and discharge services. Those projects will be part of a 5G innovation acceleration programme, which aims to put the North East at the forefront of a technological revolution in healthcare. 

By working with CPI, businesses will be able to test their ideas and gain access to early-stage adoption pathways into health and care settings using a competition-down selection process. 

Research suggests that 5G networks can transfer large amounts of data over 100 times faster than existing networks like 4G and Long-Term Evolution (LTE). 

This means when combined with healthcare technologies, 5G has the potential to allow faster treatment for patients, more efficient planning and, crucially, could lead to cost savings. 

The North East Combined Authority has awarded the fund, which will be shared between CPI, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board, Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, Boldyn Networks, and Waymark.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Portfolio holder for Economy at the North East Combined Authority and Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:

The North East is home to a growing and thriving digital sector, with cutting-edge businesses creating good, high-skilled jobs and tackling some of the crucial challenges facing our region and country. Our ambition is to become a region of excellence for 5G technology, and the Combined Authority continues to back innovative businesses to adopt technology, scale-up and grow. 

This is crucial to the North East’s industrial strategy, where we want to build a stronger, more inclusive economy which delivers better public services and ensures everyone benefits from growth. This project provides a rare opportunity for businesses to test technology in healthcare and has the potential to transform services for patients. I strongly encourage businesses in digital and health to apply.” 

Steven Bagshaw, Grand Challenge Lead at CPI, said:

Using 5G technologies in healthcare settings has the potential to help address some of the biggest challenges faced by healthcare providers today. By speeding up and increasing the ability to transfer large amounts of patient data, 5G technologies will provide the opportunity for new digital innovations to come to market. These innovations will help reduce the administrative and time pressures that confront those working in healthcare settings, and ultimately free up more time for doctors and nurses to spend with patients where it matters the most. 

It represents a huge step forward for the way we deliver health services. For many of us in the UK, it might feel like 5G is already a part of daily life, but the application of digital technologies in healthcare is much more complex. We must strive to take advantage of these technologies to provide the best possible care for patients and make step-change improvements for staff in the NHS and wider social care.” 

Dr Stephen Lynn, Associate Director for Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, said:

Connectivity plays such a crucial role in health and care, allowing the transfer of data, messages and other communications to the right people and places at the right time. 5G is a key piece of technology yet to be truly harnessed across health and care services in the North East, so working with innovators to address system challenges and provide benefit to the region is a brilliant opportunity. 

Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria are looking forward to working with our regional partners to explore these opportunities and deliver innovations that can make a difference where it really matters, ultimately improving patient outcomes.” 

Professor Graham Evans, Chief Digital and Infrastructure Officer/SIRO for NHS North East and North Cumbria – Integrated Care Board, said:

As a region, we have an ethos and history of continuous improvement and embracing innovative solutions for the benefit of the people and populations we serve. This 5G innovation is an example of system-wide collaboration across healthcare, academia and industry partners, where real-world challenges are considered as opportunities that can be solved by combining the right people with the skills, expertise and knowledge to make a positive difference – together”

Matt Atkinson, Chief Innovation Officer at Waymark, said:

5G private networks provide huge advancements for healthcare, enabling cutting-edge digital technologies. This project will demonstrate how 5G can help transform patient care and healthcare operations, creating opportunities for precision diagnostics, real-time monitoring and automated medical procedures. By collaborating with industry, academia and our regional NHS, we have the opportunity to create a robust ecosystem for development, testing and scaling of digital health solutions, ensuring the North East remains at the forefront of healthcare innovation. This joint-initiative underscores our commitment to fostering technological advancements that deliver tangible benefits to patients, staff and the broader healthcare system.”

If you’re a HealthTech company who would like to submit a project to the programme, learn more about this programme to get involved.

Apply here
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