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New fund announced to help development of technology to combat Coronavirus in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced new funding to help firms find new ways to use digital technology to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

A £150,000 fund called the Covid-19 Digital Solutions Fund has been set up and aims to allow the quick trial of solutions in the health and care sector to improve remote diagnostics, data collection and the monitoring of PPE availability. The fund will also support the piloting and evaluation of new digital platforms, apps and technologies to determine their potential use in the health service.

Speaking about the fund, Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething said;

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted an urgent need for new digital technology to help us contain and respond to the virus.

“This call to action could make a massive difference not only in our immediate response to the pandemic, but in our day-to-day health services.

“It is important we embrace digital technologies and use some of its potential to improve routine care.

“We have already received more than 180 offers of new ideas, products and services from industry, offering staff time, new apps and services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This call to action will help us evaluate the best options and their long-term value.”

Applications for the fund can be submitted online before the deadline on 8 June. Funding of up to 30k will be awarded to the best five to eight projects which meet set criteria and as decided by a panel including NHS, Welsh Government and industry representatives. Rapid pilots will run throughout July and August, in the hope that some new technology can be rolled out from early September.

The themes identified as offering the greatest potential impact include;

  • Remote diagnosis and triage of patients
  • Optimising data collection and processing
  • Tracking, managing and reporting on PPE availability and usage
  • Remote citizen support and treatment

Countries around the world have been trialling technologies to help combat the Coronavirus in recent weeks and months, with perhaps the most well-known example in the UK being the NHS app to help trace potential Coronavirus infections.

Applications for the Covid-19 Digital Solutions Fund can be submitted at www.sdi.click/coviddigital.

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