By VERIZON WIRELESS TEAM
You might not know it yet, but there’s a revolution coming to healthcare.
While digitization has driven innovation across the healthcare sector, the advent of 5G is set to spark a fourth industrial revolution.
3G and 4G networks enabled large-scale change and rapid modernization. However, 5G delivers what these networks could not: blazing speeds and ultra-low latencies that permit enormous data transfers between devices in near-real time. That means that technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality will be capable of transforming the industry as we know it.
Whether it’s strengthening telemedicine connections, implementing new teaching methods at medical school, or connecting large hospitals and clinics, see how 5G-powered technologies will open the door for innovation in healthcare.
5G has the potential to power breakthroughs in telemedicine. Already predicted by a Market Research Future study to grow 16.5% between 2017 and 2023, telemedicine industry expansion will be bolstered by burgeoning 5G infrastructure. With mobile networks that can deliver the speed required for high-quality video, 5G will expand access to telemedicine that delivers much-needed care where it couldn’t be found before.
Likewise, 5G will change the way we provide care for patients in person. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg recently delivered the keynote speech at CES 2019. Among the guests he invited onstage to discuss the future of 5G was Dr. Christopher Morley, Co-Founder of MediVis. Morley discussed the potential for augmented reality and artificial intelligence technologies to advance surgical visualization capabilities.
In one demonstration, Morley evidenced how, rather than having to base their procedures off of static 2D imaging data, brain surgeons can don next-generation visualization equipment supported by 5G connectivity. While wearing these devices, the surgeons can use holographic visualization to drastically enhance their decision-making in the operating room, with actionable imaging data accessible at speeds previously unheard of.
Meanwhile, down the hospital hall, 5G could enable front-line caregivers to spend more time doing what they do best. The high throughput of 5G will power wireless-enabled machine learning—meaning that more robots may be available to shoulder administrative tasks and allow nursing staffs to focus on patient care.
And it won’t just be robots that share data for better efficiency. From PETs to MRIs, healthcare has its fair share of machines that generate massive files. Sharing critical patient data—from doctor to doctor, facility to facility—can enable more nimble review of specific cases, with far less strain on a network’s bandwidth. In turn, healthcare providers can deliver results for their patients in less time, freeing them up to see even more patients.
These greatly faster connections, and the virtual elimination of latency, mean that the doctors of tomorrow will be able to watch surgeries as they happen, from a remote location and in near-real time.
However, we don’t even need to look to the future to see how 5G will affect medical learning.
At the Verizon 5G Lab in New York City, Columbia University professor Steven Feiner and a team made up of staff and students are exploring ways to create a digital alternative to in-person rehabilitation. With the help of 5G-powered VR, Feiner and his team have experimented with solutions that would enable a patient and therapist to perform exercises together while in different locations.
5G is already driving better decisions and closer care. But this is only the beginning. 5G has clear potential to revolutionize not just quality of the care patients receive, but where and how they receive it. How will you make the most of it?
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