Improving the hospital’s COVID-19 response

At GOSH we are keen to explore how new technology can support us all during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.  The hospital’s Digital Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments Unit (DRIVE) has been working with a technology partner looking at how technology can tell us how well we are doing when it comes to infection prevention and control, particularly in the areas of personal protective equipment (PPE) – such as wearing masks – and hand sanitising, according to national guidelines. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, following government guidance on how to stay safe continues to be important in order to protect staff, patients and their families or carers when in the hospital.  The trial we are starting on Bear ward will help us evaluate what has worked and how we can improve our response to the pandemic.  The first step is to check that the technology works and is accurate.

Overview of the Technology

The technology uses high definition cameras to stream video footage to a device located within the hospital. The streaming footage is never stored and is processed instantly using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms able to detect events and objects.  The algorithms do not use any facial recognition components, meaning the system is not able to identify or track specific individuals or store any personal data.

The processing of the video streams is instantaneous with footage never stored. The system generates summary data only which does not contain personal data. Neither video footage nor stills are stored and they cannot be accessed from outside of the system.

The Trial on Bear Ward

The trial is taking place on Bear Ward where two cameras are located by the ward’s main reception area with one pointing to the staff only entrance and the second pointing to the general entrance.

The cameras stream footage of staff, patients and parents as they enter the ward which is instantly turned into numerical data. The technology will be able to detect whether staff/carers are wearing face masks and are using the hand sanitising stations available.

The trial will not impact on ward staff or people entering the area. The DRIVE project lead will manually record actual events over a defined period and subsequently use these records to validate that the technology is accurately detecting events, or in other words that the system is accurately detecting if someone is, for example, washing their hands.

If you want to know more information about this project please email the project lead on

September 2020