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UK’s first care home visual track and trace technology

by Lisa Carr

UK’s first care home visual track and trace technology lauded as “game-changer” in fight against Covid-19

The launch of the UK’s first visual track and trace technology for care homes has been heralded as a “game-changer” in the fight against Covid-19.

PinGo electronic-badges are the first to offer real-time flashing image alerts and vibrations to staff, visitors and residents in care homes if they enter a ‘red-zone’ of less than 2m from another person.

And if someone tests positive for Covid-19, PinGo produces a ‘rapid-test’ list, ranking those most at risk of possible infection. This enables care homes to send instant alert messages to listed staff and contact visitors.

The tailor-made system by digital care technology specialist ENS is already being used by two leading care home operators.

One of them, Dormy Care, praised the technology as a “game-changer” in helping to reduce the spread and rate of infection of Covid-19 within care homes.

Helen Davies-Parsons, CEO of Dormy Care Communities, which operates four luxury homes in England and Wales, said: “We are thrilled to be using the new PinGo technology in Foxhunters Care Community in Wales.

“With our aim to provide the highest possible infection control standards across all of our Dormy Care Communities, this takes it to another level and could be a real game-changer. We are extremely happy with the results so far.”

Between 10 April and 2 October, 14,355 residents died in care homes according to data from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with weekly deaths continuing to increase as the country enters a ‘second-wave’.

As the government encourages care homes to provide safe visiting opportunities, PinGo is helping homes to open their doors to visitors, with some across the country having been closed for over 8 months.

The badges worn by staff, visitors and some residents not only help enforce 2m social distancing but also identify precisely where in a care home a badge-wearer goes, who they come into contact with, at what distance, and for how long.

The badges’ accuracy to within 50cms also allows for extra monitoring such as visits to hand-washing stations.

Gary Woods of ENS, which designed and developed the technology in response to the pandemic, said: “When Coronavirus hit care homes and we saw the devastating impact it was having we worked quickly to adapt our systems to react to distancing requirements, testing needs and contract tracing to create this cutting-edge technology.

He added: “Our rapid test feature allows operators to have a rolling list of who needs a rapid test so they’re able to get staff tested as soon as possible with the aim of keeping staff working in the knowledge they’re negative.

“The alternative is either staff having to continually isolate, creating additional costs and inconvenience, or every member of staff having to be tested every day which again is costly and an administrative burden.

“PinGo is a cost-effective way for operators to keep staff working safely by giving them confidence in their role and by also reducing costs associated with isolation and cover.”

The user-friendly, real-time data allows care providers to see the movement of anyone wearing a badge around the home and also allows them to view data for any specific individual.

It records time spent in the ‘red-zone’ which can be set to any distance and highlights consistent breaches to management.

PinGo is the latest technological advance from ENS, famed for releasing the UK’s first Digital Nursecall System back in 1987.

Since then the company has continued to innovate and has supplied over 4,500 award-winning systems to leading providers of care homes, retirement communities and sheltered accommodation.

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