The arrival of 5G has the potential to transform healthcare delivery, enabling smarter healthcare scenarios such as Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), robotics, AI and cloud.
Spark Health is at the forefront of this technology preparing to equip the health sector with the right digital health tools and capabilities to improve the patient experience with personalised, preventative care.
It is difficult to determine exactly what can be achieved with 5G technology as we are only restricted by our thinking. Here are a few ideas already on the horizon that are Spark Health and 5G could support in the future within the NZ health sector.
In an emergency situation, better and faster exchange of real time health information will be possible supporting new ways of working like ambulance remote diagnosis and tele-consultation.
The delivery methods of care will expand as things like 5G enabled ambulances are enabled to play a bigger role in providing connected care for patients. Connecting through a high-speed, low latency network, using real-time video feeds, clinicians will have the opportunity to assess patients at the scene or in transit. They can then quickly transmit data enabling more timely and ultimately, more lifesaving decision making.
Smart ambulance showcase in the UK
Autonomous medical drones
Harnessing the ultra-high speeds and low latency of 5G, aided by network slicing and 5G radio, medical drones can have shorter response times, real-time video feeds and precise control in changing conditions.
Remote robotic surgery has the ability to give New Zealanders access to the best surgical expertise, closer to home. Surgery can be a life-or-death situation and it’s critical that information and data can be shared and responded to in real-time.
Assisting surgery through the use of video could allow surgeons to remotely operate on patients via surgical robot technology anywhere in the world with lower latency than is currently possible with 4G. Emergency surgery could take place in rural New Zealand with specialist surgeons located in New Zealand’s larger cities.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) gives people with chronic illnesses the peace of mind they need, knowing they can stay in touch with healthcare providers from the comfort of their own home.
Although not new technology (IoT devices and wearables are already in use) using 5G connectivity introduces many other possibilities to integrate RPM with AI, AR and VR, potentially helping clinicians manage patients proactively, predict changes in condition and intervene virtually when needed.