Initiatives testing how 5G can improve health and social care are to benefit from a further £40million investment in the testbeds programme.
The testbeds and trials programme, announced in early 2018, has driven improved mobile connectivity in multiple industries, including healthcare.
Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care is one of the projects that’s benefited from funding in the past, with a number of projects in place including a loneliness gaming and quiz app which connects people with learning disabilities.
Announcing the new wave of funding at the 5G World Conference as part of London Tech Week, digital secretary, Jeremy Wright said: “As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.
“5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country. It’s a vital piece of technology that can be used to improve the productivity and growth of our industrial sectors.”
The latest round of funding comes from the £200million project to test 5G across the country.
The Government has also confirmed it will consult on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to both support the further roll-out of 4G and aid the faster introduction of 5G.
The Sensor City programme in Liverpool, made up of 11 organisations from Liverpool’s hospitals, council, universities and technology SMEs, has so far benefited from £4.9million funding to help explore how 5G can improve health and social care.
The funding has also contributed to 5G solutions to help people living with long-term conditions like diabetes and epilepsy in Liverpool’s Kensington area.
5G is predicted to play a significant role in the future of healthcare, but the specifics of the technology are yet to be decided on. The government is still reviewing it’s 5G telecoms policy, with Chinese firm Huawei at the centre of scandal surround the technology.
In May then defence secretary Gavin Williamson was sacked following an inquiry into a leak from a National Security Council meeting, following reports over a plan to allow Huawei limited access to help build the UK’s network.
Experts have previously warned that poorly regulated 5G could pose “potentially catastrophic cyber threats” amid concerns tech giants like Huawei could pose a security threat.
In the UK several companies are looking into the viability of 5G technology in the healthcare sector, including Internet of Things (IoT) company Pangea Connected who are working with Kingston University in London to develop a new 5G-enabled video streaming service that allows A&E doctors to triage patients before they arrive at hospital.
Technology giant Ericsson has predicted 2020 to be the year 5G will be launched in healthcare.
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