Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care has won a national award for the most innovative ‘real world’ use of 5G technology at the recent 5G Realised Conference in London.

The two-day 5G Realised Conference celebrated 5G technology and its potential benefits to a diverse range of sectors including health and social care, agriculture, transport and tourism.

Liverpool 5G consortium won the award for a use case at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT), where 5G technology is being used to support virtual reality (VR) headsets at a palliative care ward.

Rosemary Kay, Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care Project Director, said: “We are very proud to have won this award as it recognises the care and effort our members have put into creating innovative use cases that improve people’s lives.”

The 5G supported VR headsets have been used at the hospital to reduce patient pain. David Walliker, Chief Information Officer at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, says they have had a real impact: “Using 5G technology we have been able to expand our virtual reality (VR) use in our palliative care service to provide VR sessions for our patients who need it most. Previously the VR experience was limited to a preloaded beach or forest experience of 15 minutes, but since connecting our VR devices to Liverpool 5G Health and Social Care’s 5G network we have been able to offer patients a personalised experience as an effective distraction therapy technique.

“To date, we’ve had 20 patients benefit from this experience with overwhelmingly positive feedback. We have also seen virtual reality used effectively for patients requiring higher levels of care in our critical care unit to help with ventilation weaning and rehabilitation.”