The NHS spends an estimated £30 billion pounds every year managing its estates and facilities, but consultant-led studiessuggest many of its buildings are being used to a fraction of their capacity. The management of the NHS’s 500-million sq. ft. estate could be on the verge of an IoT revolution, following the development of new sensing technology by property technology start-up. Beringar, supported by CENSIS.
With assistance from engineers at CENSIS, Beringar developed a non-intrusive sensor which will significantly improve NHS understanding of how its buildings are used.
Transmitting data wirelessly using a LoRaWAN, the Beringar sensor pack replaces replace traditional methods of measuring the utilisation of buildings, such as clipboard surveys, by accurately counting the number of people in a room, checking building occupancy levels and identifying trends in the ways patients and staff use buildings. The system can also measure temperature, record air quality and monitor CO2 levels. As the product is developed further, it could be used for other uses in the health system including identifying and locating moveable assets and keeping track of expensive pieces of equipment.
A 2017 a trial of Beringar’s technology in a clinic in Ilford, Essex allowed state Managers to identify ways in which they could boost the building’s productivity.
Carolyn Botfield, Estates Director at the National Health Service, commented: “It’s important for us to identify where the NHS is adding value, and adapt our services to the requirements of the local community – over time, its needs change. Clinics are often block-booked, but we have no way of finding out if just a few people, or twenty patients, are attending every week. The sensor will allow us to achieve real-time feedback on how our buildings are being used, enabling us to make smarter decisions”.
Follow on development: May 2018
In May 2018, Beringar moved into the next phase of development, trialling its system in Caithness General Hospital to monitor and track the whereabouts of hospital beds for maintenance purposes.
- Press release 2017: Proptech start-up senses big opportunity for NHS property
- Press release 2018: NHS gets connected with new IoT trial to track hospital beds
- Video: Beringar Director Mark Sorsa-Leslie talks about working with CENSIS