Pioneering healthcare technology has been utilised in 34 care homes throughout the borough to protect residents, staff and clinicians.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group deployed Tunstall Healthcare's computer systems in April during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tunstall's 'myKiosk' programme and 'triagemanager' software enables residents' health to be closely monitored, while limited the need for face to face interaction, reducing the risk of infection.

Joanne Dorsman, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The systems give us objective information to support effective clinical decision making.

"This remote monitoring approach is helping us during the pandemic, but will also enable us to provide more proactive care over the longer term, improving the wellbeing of residents and helping to reduce the pressure on primary and secondary care.

"The success of the programme will be measured over time, with metrics such as reduced ambulance call outs being assessed, as well as resident outcomes and the impact on caseload management."

Care staff can record resident's vital signs using the myKiosk tablet and answer questions about their health and symptoms.

This information is then transmitted to the triagemanger software, which will raise an alert depending on the patient's level of risk.

Decisions can then be taken regarding the next steps in the patient's care.

Gavin Bashar, MD of Tunstall Healthcare, said: "The triagemanager and myKiosk system will help clinicians to effectively prioritise residents’ care, as the system clearly identifies those most in need of interventions.

"It enables closer monitoring of vulnerable residents, whilst reducing the need for clinical staff attendance thus reducing the risk of cross infection.

"As covid-19 presents the worst public health crisis for a generation, technology can help to address some of the immediate challenges presented by the current emergency.

"Technology enabled care solutions can also provide a robust platform for future health and care delivery, connecting people to enable more proactive and preventative care and, ensure a sustainable and scalable network is in place should we ever have to face such a crisis again."