DefProc is delighted to announce that we have secured funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to create a Smart Uninterruptible Power Supply, also known as SmUPS. 

What is a Smart Uninterruptible Power Supply?

SmUPS is a brand-new product that will provide multi-hour backup power for virtual wards, telehealth and telecare devices deployed in patients’ homes. Healthcare staff will be able to monitor the state of the mains power supply and battery capacity and calculate the remaining time left on the battery. These metrics will alert staff to potential problems ahead of patients losing connection so they can ensure that patients receive continued service.

The use of digital healthcare services has been on the rise since 2020 to create capacity and better utilise frontline healthcare staff. Healthcare organisations use virtual wards to monitor patients with conditions such as COPD, frailty and hypertension from their homes. The Department of Health and Social Care has developed a digital healthcare plan to expand virtual wards, remote monitoring of lifestyle diseases, and increase self-care and self-management. As a result, this has raised the question of how services can be provided during power outages and in homes suffering from fuel poverty. Thanks to Innovate UK funding, SmUPS aims to solve this problem.

In 2025, there will be an analogue telephone (PSTN) switch-off, and all connections will become digital. Analogue connections have line power separate from the household supply, whereas digital connections do not. After the switch-off, telehealth and telecare devices will lose connection in the event of a local power cut. This, combined with an increase in the self-rationing and self-disconnection of electricity due to rising energy bills, means that an uninterruptible power supply is crucial for allowing telehealth and telecare devices to remain functional.

What’s next?

SmUPS is currently in development. You can keep an eye on our LinkedIn and Twitter for updates on the project. In the meantime, you can look at other projects we’ve worked on here.