HealthTech scale-up Navenio has secured a £400,000 grant from the UK government and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to address the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals.

The Oxford University spin-out offers location-based technology which it claims can  double the throughput of hospital teams.

Its indoor location solution, the equivalent of GPS for use indoors, powers a range of apps and platforms in sectors including healthcare.

The money was awarded to projects that seek to mitigate the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hospitals use Navenio’s AI-led ‘Intelligent Workforce Solution’ (IWS) which is built on indoor geolocation technology.

Relying only on smartphone data, it requires no infrastructure and no building surveys.

Navenio will accelerate the processing of maps by further automating feature extraction and processing of floorplans, which it said will enable a ten-fold improvement in deployment speed.

It will also extend the current IWS functionality of its software to accommodate the rising demand for cleaning, infection control, risk assessment, and gatekeeping of patients’ movements, which will be critical in managing COVID-19 in understaffed hospitals.

In addition, it will provide data analytics which will draw insights on resource utilisation and how to increase capacity and reduce risk.

The firm hopes this will result in the first UK-wide statistics on resources utilisation and will help local management make key decisions across hospitals and at different stages of the pandemic.

Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK commented: “With COVID-19 still an ever-present challenge in the UK and across the globe, our working lives, social encounters, and travel plans are continually being disrupted.

“Businesses like Navenio have stepped up to the challenge and produced technology which aims to solve these issues. Those awarded funding from our competition will support the UK in delivering potential solutions and services to facilitate our recovery from the pandemic.”

Tim Weil, CEO of Navenio, added: “We are delighted to have received this funding from UKRI and Innovate UK. With COVID-19 still presenting significant challenges to healthcare systems this funding will help us to continue dramatically improving patient flow within hospitals around the UK by prioritising tasks for individual teams.