Liverpool’s 5G Health and Social Care Testbed looks to be kicking into gear, as CBS Simulation has created a digital twin (a digitally simulated copy) of the city’s Kensington neighbourhood, which it will use to plan the deployment of a 5G networking platform for the testbed.
Specifically, the digital twin will be used to work out what the best positions would be for street-level mesh networks, which are set to be attached to street furniture such as lampposts.
Using a digital twin isn’t unusual, as it’s a relatively affordable and potentially more accurate way of working out where to deploy 5G technology. And when this technology is deployed it could be a big deal for residents and businesses, as the network will use 60GHz mmWave (millimetre wave) technology and should provide affordable multi-gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity.
Of course, the focus right now is on health and social care, with the goal being to see whether 5G can offer reliable access to health and social care solutions in digitally deprived communities.
Smart devices and sensors
At the trial stage this should benefit inpatients at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT) and users of Liverpool Adult Social Services, as they will get access to Internet of Things (IoT) devices, applications and sensor technology.
These include a social gaming app designed to help with loneliness in adults, a pharmacy assistant device which can connect people to a pharmacy via video link when they’re taking medicine at home, and sensors that can monitor things like dehydration and falls.
These are just a few examples of the sorts of things that 5G networks could enable, and with these trials Liverpool could be getting in on the ground floor.
But there are plenty of other trials and testbeds across the UK. Liverpool’s 5G Health and Social Care Testbed received £3.5 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), but that department also awarded money to five others in different regions and with different focuses, from manufacturing and security in Worcestershire to smart tourism and autonomous vehicles.
Useful read: How fast is 5G?