Several leading hospitals in China, in collaboration with Huawei, have launched a project to establish the first 5G-based standard for hospital networks, which are projected to be used inside hospital buildings. The country’s leading 5G technology provider, Huawei, have been tasked with implementing the network. Several leading hospitals in China, in collaboration with Huawei, have launched a project to establish the first 5G-based standard for hospital networks, which are projected to be used inside hospital buildings. The country's leading 5G technology provider, Huawei, have been tasked with implementing the network.
More than thirty hospitals, the China Association of Medical Equipment, Huawei and three major telecom carriers jointly launched the project. The project is under the guidance of the National Health Commission and is led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, the National Telemedicine and Connected Health Center and the Primary-care Telemedicine Development Directory Center.
By establishing standards of 5G in hospitals, the development of healthcare digitization and IoT in healthcare and smart hospital buildings will also be accelerated. Moreover, the project will focus on the 5G-based telemedicine applications and the combination of clinical applications and the technical standards.
Huawei has built over 100 5G medical demonstration sites based on its 5G indoor solutions, presenting commercial medical services such as consultation, outpatient and image diagnosis.
In August 2019, China released the tele-healthcare pricing and assurance policy, pushing tele-healthcare services a step closer to the commercial stage.
"The standard (created from the project) will be developed based on the successful experience of previous programs and combines the wisdom of medical and communication experts to effectively apply 5G in hospitals," said Nie Chunlei, Chief of the National Health Commission's primary care healthcare department, in a Huawei press release.
Chunlei continued, "As part of the infrastructure of information-driven primary healthcare, it will accelerate the Internet and medical development, improve primary healthcare to become more convenient, accessible and helpful to the people.”
In a remote diagnosis case on critical pulmonary between the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and a Singaporean hospital, 12GB of data was transferred in 12 hours. At the demonstration of Huawei's 5G solution, 6GB of data was downloaded "instantly."
"Emergency and critical cases have more demand for cross-discipline joint diagnosis, for which more data needs to be transmitted and where faster responsiveness to various changing factors must be ensured ...There are so many cases like this in Internet medical services that requires the benefits of 5G," said Lu Qingjun, Director, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, in a Huawei press release.
China Mobile plans to provide commercial 5G services in more than 50 cities across China this year.
5G Realizes remote surgery
Swedish telecommunication giant Ericsson, another 5G technology provider, has collaborated with King's College London to see how 5G can be used in surgical procedures to deliver results.
A surgeon reacts to physical and visual stimuli in under ten milliseconds. While remote surgery aims to take this process to the cloud, current technology cannot fulfill the needs of simultaneous streaming for remote surgery.
With 5G technology and a pair of haptic feedback gloves, developed by Ericsson, surgeons are able to operate on a patient via a robotic intermediary from thousands of miles away. The gloves are said to give the surgeon a human-like sense of touch as if they were standing in front of the patient, while the real-time video from the operation room is streamed directly to them.
As 5G works with edge-computing, data can be processed right where it's produced, therefore the result is sent to the cloud promptly, utilizing faster speeds that 5G provide. Greater speed helps to prevent lag or data shortages during transmission, which could be critical to keeping patients safe during surgery. In March 2019, the People's Liberation Army General Hospital chief physician carried out brain surgery remotely from Beijing at the PLAGH Hainan Hospital, 3,000km away.
5G networks are being rolled out to commercial consumers in several countries this year. Healthcare and medical services are sure to see major benefits from the new technology, but it is also expected to bring significant changes to a whole host of industries.