5G has reached healthcare amidst coronavirus In healthcare, seconds can mean the difference between brain damage and complete recovery, between paralysis and short recovery with physical therapy, between life and death. 5G is expected to serve as a key pillar in healthcare, enabling fast data rates, fast incident response and reliable connections.
Η technology will help doctors prevent neurological damage, save patients' limbs and diagnose strokes. It will also allow healthcare to become more personalized and effective. With 5G, techniques such as robotic, remote surgeries can become a reality.
And let's not forget teleotherapy. As the coronavirus pandemic rages, it is forcing hospitals to reconsider healthcare - now and not after five years. They are focusing on more digital solutions that allow for more remote care.
"THE Covid-19 is the fact that changed the face of healthcare forever, "said Mo Katibeh, head of marketing at AT&T Business.
However, while Covid-19 creates dozens of cases that require 5G, it is likely to delay the adoption of the technology, said Lisa Unden-Farboud, an analyst at research firm Gartner.
The Covid-19 has slowed consumer adoption of technology as people do not upgrade their phones - especially in Western markets.
When you can't get to a medical facility or you want to avoid the crowds, 5G could be the key to getting tested.
While remote healthcare is possible with 4G LTE, 5G can connect thousands of devices without slowing down the connection, making it much easier to monitor patients in real time. Devices such as portables, medical implants, elderly care detectors and even connected toothbrushes could look for symptoms and detect viral infections by feeding this information to a doctor.
Η pandemic not only does it create the need to control our physical health, but it also causes a number of mental health problems as stress and depression increase.
Via 5G, the VR could be used to recreate medical office environments so that patients feel more comfortable during virtual mental health checkups.
It is not just mental health services that can benefit from the combination of 5G and VR. THE Verizon has experimented with providing physiotherapy services via 5G VR headphones.
Smart hospitals will be the next step to help patients and doctors. THE AT&T installed a 5G network at Rush University Medical Center a year and a half ago. "The goal is to create one of the smartest buildings on the planet," said Katibeh.
Everything can be connected inside a hospital, Katibeh said - such as medicine cabinets that open only to registered users or labels used to locate equipment such as oxygen tanks and respirators.
Smart hospitals will be interactive. Everything will be interconnected from the moment you reach the parking lot. Your body temperature will be scanned, devices will talk to each other, alerts will be sent to patients and doctors.
When a healthcare worker enters a patient's room, his ID can be read by a scanner, which immediately shows his name and specialty on the television. 5G hospitals could send alerts to nurses and doctors about patient care, such as when someone is lying in bed for a long time and needs to be rotated to avoid further problems. Smart hospitals will know where all the medical staff is in a facility at any time, without having to call it.
Another area that could change with 5G is internal imaging, such as ultrasound, X-rays and MRI scans. They are vital and help doctors understand what is happening to patients, but the records created by these tests are huge. Today, it may take a minute or more to upload them to digital healthcare files or share them with other providers.
5G allows these large files to be loaded by technicians and downloaded by experts in seconds, which could make the difference between life and death.
The impact of this is that doctors will be able to compare a patient's internal scans with hundreds of thousands of other images using mobile imaging units. These images will not be limited to two dimensions. Holographic projection could be made possible with 5G, guiding the surgeon's hand and bringing the augmented reality in the operating room.
In addition to holographic images and virtual spheres, the ultimate trademark of futuristic healthcare is robotic surgery, an idea that has been around for years. AT&T believes 5G could make it a reality, given its low latency - or how fast the network responds to someone's command.
If 5G can reliably maintain this latency, there would be absolutely no difference if the doctor is in the patient room or hundreds of miles away.
Not everyone believes that remote surgery is possible in remote areas using robot. Even in areas where 5G is more prevalent, questions remain as to whether latency can remain low enough for something as critical as surgery.
For the foreseeable future, robotic surgery may reach the point where there will be an assistant on the distant patient's side to guide the robotic tool with the remote surgeon's instructions.
5G remote assistance surgery was demonstrated at last year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Dr. Antonio de Lacy, head of gastrointestinal surgery at the Barcelona Hospital Clinic, gave live instructions to his medical team on the other side of town - in real time, without delay.