In areas where there is a shortage of doctors and where fast intervention is needed, 5G will be making medicine mobile. Application options range from diagnostic telemedicine to the concept of remote surgery and are constantly evolving, with the Internet of Things or the collection and analysis of previously separate medical information. What the scenarios have in common is the fact that they are time-sensitive use cases, and that up to extremely reduced latencies.
When you look at rural regions of Switzerland, you will see a large deficit: a shortage of doctors. Although socio-political measures are being used to drive against it, it will take a long time until tangible improvements will have been made.
The expansion with 5G will more quickly result in an increase in the medical care coverage. In this case, telemedicine will only work, however, if the infrastructure is in place. Then, all relevant patient information can be transmitted immediately to the attending physician.
Office appointments via video connection will then be typical. Individual consultations are time-sensitive even without an emergency. In their practices, doctors have to be able to plan their time wisely without having to wait for patient information or having to deal with a slowed-down video office appointment. With targeted construction activities, an antenna network can be created that utilizes all the benefits of 5G, from the patient to the doctor.
This will allow residents of rural areas to enjoy medical treatment comparable to the treatment that is available in large cities. And it will be digital – from the prescription for the appropriate medication to the first exam, without having to drive and then wait. This is one of the features of 5G that also benefits people in the cities who are not able to leave their homes.
The main discipline of remote medicine with the largest challenge for 5G will be remote surgery solutions. This will allow world-renowned specialists to perform complex surgeries in patients without being physically present. A highly-precise surgery robot will be conducting the surgery. Of course, this option can only be successful in real time with a high-performance 5G network. Because the operator controls his/her "tool" remotely and must be sure that all actions are performed precisely and seamlessly. What sounds futuristic will be reality soon with the minimized latency of the 5G network.
Sunrise is supporting the advances being made in medical applications by converting landline services to wireless services in medical environments and the networking of various objects and information through Sunrise IoT connect. The «Wired to Wireless Transformation» represents the major challenge with the new 5G network. The associated additional bandwidth with very low latency will accommodate a larger number of users in a single mobile network cell, which means all doctors and caregivers even in large institutions such as hospitals can be provided with the data they need in real time – without any need for a landline network. Sunrise in-house 5G coverage can also potentially be used instead of Wi-Fi coverage and thus replace a redundant infrastructure as well.