5G-enabled Smart Medical Care: from Concept to Completion
We have been overcoming barriers to the adoption of medical providers and systems for decades. The new corona-virus pandemic has promoted the widespread application of medical care due to its unprecedented urgency. Before that, remote virtual consultations occasionally served as a supplement to on-site medical services, but now it will replace routine consultations in cardiology clinics for an uncertain period of time. Thus we believe, smart medical care based on 5G network will be a must-need.
5G technology will undoubtedly achieve deep integration with medical care in the future. With the power of 5G, medical care will become a more viable tool in hospitals and private clinics. Wearable medical devices have been shown to be effective in helping various risk groups to solve health problems and improve patient prognosis. A smoother connection with 5G can bring more meaningful functions to patients and their doctors. For example, 5G can help important data (which may indicate future health problems) to be transmitted more quickly. Having more widely available and reliable high-speed wireless Internet will also improve the quality of other medical care services, including patient care and patient-doctor video conferencing.
Difficulty in seeking medical treatment for patients with illness
Uneven distribution of medical resources
- Patients need to run between different sections or hospital districts
- The bad experience caused by communication problems among patients, nurses and doctors
- Lack of professional management of chronic diseases and guidance of post-operative recovery
- Large hospitals are usually filled with patients while visitors in small hospitals are few and far between
5G has three major characteristics of high speed, low latency, and large connections to enable such smart medical application scenarios.
Scenario 1: Remote Consultation
The high bandwidth of the 5G network can support 4K/8K remote high-definition consultations and high-speed transmission and sharing of medical image data, allowing experts to conduct consultations anytime and anywhere, making remote consultations no longer just a luxury.
Scenario 2: Remote Ultrasound
Usually, small hospitals are lack of excellent ultrasound doctors, and we urgently need to establish a remote ultrasound system that can achieve high-definition without delay. Remote ultrasound is operated by remote experts to perform ultrasound examinations on patients in local hospitals. Compared with traditional dedicated lines and Wi-Fi, 5G networks can solve the difficulty and high cost of construction of dedicated lines in remote areas such as local hospitals and remote islands, which often has the problems of insecure and remote control of Wi-Fi data transmission, high cost, and high latency.
Scenario 3: Remote First-aid
5G can provide continuous broad coverage for emergency vehicles, realizing the concept of "getting onto the ambulance means entering the hospital" for patients. By delivering on-site situation as well as patients’ conditions via 5G network back to the control center, medical staff is able to monitor statuses of medical equipment, the geographical location of the vehicles, traffic situation and patients’ conditions in real-time, making it convenient for doctors to implement remote consultation and guidance.
Scenario 4: Remote Training
Medical education and training have high requirements over content, environment and technology. Therefore, 5G network can quickly help deploy an AR/VR based virtual training, which delivers a better experience for participants.
Scenario 5: Logistics Robot in Hospitals
The daily delivery tasks in the hospital are arduous, occupying a lot of time and energy of nurses, making the lack of nursing resources even tenser. Based on the 5G network, logistics robots have become an important application of unmanned driving in hospitals, which can solve the problem of material distribution throughout the hospital and improve the work efficiency of medical staff. When the medical staff completes the order in the delivery system, the robot can quickly and accurately deliver the items to the designated location, alleviating the problem of insufficient nursing manpower.
Scenario 6: Remote Surgery
The low latency and large bandwidth of the 5G network make remote surgery possible. Using medical robots and high-definition audio and video systems, remote experts can perform timely remote surgical treatment for patients in local hospitals. In addition, the 5G network can also implement scenarios such as remote monitoring, smart diagnosis guidance, mobile healthcare, smart hospital management, and AI-assisted diagnosis and treatment, effectively improving medical standards.
Change the way of medical services
- Lack of effective methods for a pipeline from online booking, registration and consultation to diagnosis and treatment
- Collaboration between inside and outside the hospital is not smooth, medical records of patients are not unified, and there is a lack of a safe, efficient and private communication and sharing platform
Improve hospital communication and collaboration
- Break time and space restrictions and share high-quality medical resources to maximize the use of medical resources
Improve patient experience
- A safe and convenient online communication and collaboration platform for the medical staff in hospitals
Private deployment to secure data transmission
- Reduce queuing and tossing in order to provide a convenient way and humanized whole-process guidance
- Private deployment effectively guarantees data security and patient privacy
5G technology is one of the key technologies for the digital transformation of society, and it is also the fundamental condition for the interconnection of everything in smart healthcare. The promotion and application of 5G smart medical care can alleviate the contradictions in the allocation of medical resources and accelerate medical upgrades. In the future, network operators and medical equipment manufacturers will establish more cooperation in the field of smart medical care, and more smart medical projects will come to fruition.
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