Three startups are to get access to a private 5G network to road test their technologies after winning a digital health and social care innovation challenge.

Care Reality, DDM Health and Safehouse Technology will use next generation connectivity to help improve access for users, support care at home and share information securely.

The three winning SMEs will now benefit from an intensive acceleration programme and access to the network to test and prepare their business ideas to be market ready. 

Care Reality provides essential clinical skills training using a new end-user virtual reality assessment platform and simulated learning platform for the care sector, giving educators the ability to assess the clinical skills and competence of remote learners. DDM Health and Safehouse Technology both use digital technology applications to support early intervention and diagnosis. DDM Health offers home monitoring and precision chronic disease management and Safehouse allows people to receive quality care in their homes.

The challenge was organised and is overseen by The Scotland 5G Centre.

Ross Toomer, chief executive of Care Reality, said: “Working with the team at the Scotland 5G Centre will allow us a unique opportunity to test the streaming of immersive learning experiences and instant content directly from the cloud. With low latency, incredible speed, and massive capacity, 5G and edge-computing will be game changing for VR learning..

We look forward to working with the experts and gaining access to the wider support the programme offers for us as a start-up SME in Scotland.”

Arjun Panesar is chief executive at DDM Health, a digital therapeutics company and creator of Gro Health, an NHS certified App, which provides home monitoring, preventative care and chronic disease management, elective care support for patients waiting for treatment and supports post-treatment rehabilitation.

He said: “Our mission is to empower people to live healthier, longer lives and combining our Gro Health platform with the latest digital connectivity can achieve this aim and deliver care efficiently.

“We are looking forward to building relationships with healthcare providers and peers to see how we can offer our Gro Health app using 5G and IoT devices to improve the care of patients in Scotland.”

John Griffiths is the chief technology officer of Safehouse Technology, which provides an end-to-end IoT service and works in the social care sector to offer digital support to keep people safe in their own homes.

John said: “We are developing, in conjunction with Glasgow Social Services, a service with personalised alerts helping social services to concentrate on real incidents rather than false alarms. We are looking to accelerate the work of Safehouse AI by taking it into a 5G setting and producing a focused product ready for market.

“5G is an area we believe is of great growth potential and this is an opportunity to get the technical experience and expertise to create a platform for the next generation of telecare in the social care sector.”

Lara Moloney, head of S5G Connect, welcomed the winners along with key challenge owners, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership and Scottish Care and technical advisors AWTG. 

She said:  “Our first Innovation Challenge is realising our ambition to bring businesses into our hub and helping them to use 5G technology to create new, innovative solutions. We are all very excited about the high calibre of winners and look forward to working with them to get their products and services market ready to ultimately improve health and social care delivery.   

“The innovation challenge is about enabling direct solutions to the benefit of the health and care sector,  and we look forward to sharing knowledge and supporting the ambitious companies to realise their potential in a 5G environment. The solutions created will help the Dumfries region and will also be transferable to other rural areas coping with the demands of an ageing population.”  

All the winners will now take part in a 15-week development programme, with access to the 5G testbed in Dumfries and one-to-one technical expertise to support technical development. In addition, companies will receive business and investment advice and introduction to potential customers and ongoing access to S5GConnect business and technical support until March 2023.