The 5G Revolution: Unveiling the Future of Healthcare

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As an influencer and analyst with a burning passion for the innovative intersection of technology and healthcare,  Evan Kirstel, chief digital evangelist and co-founder of EViRaI,  discusses the incredible development that is poised to transform our healthcare experience: the introduction and implementation of 5G networks within hospitals. This isn’t a distant dream or a sci-fi fantasy – it’s happening right here, right now.

What Is 5G?

Before we dive into the depths of this exciting revolution, let’s briefly touch on what 5G is for those who might be unfamiliar with the term. 5G stands for fifth-generation wireless technology. It promises faster data speeds, lower latency (i.e., less delay in data transfer), and increased connectivity. When most of us hear “5G,” we think of super-fast downloads, high-definition streaming, and lightning-speed internet browsing. But the impact of 5G goes far beyond our smartphones and into a realm where it can literally save lives – our hospitals

The Power of 5G in Healthcare

Now, you might be asking, “Why does healthcare need 5G?” The answer lies not just in the 

speed that 5G offers, but also in its capacity and latency. With 5G, we’re talking about a network that can handle a massive number of devices with less than a millisecond of delay, compared to about 70 milliseconds on the 4G network. This makes 5G a game-changer for healthcare, enabling the development of “smart” hospitals, facilitating remote telesurgeries, and allowing doctors to receive patients’ vitals and medical histories the moment they walk in the door, thanks to wearable devices and sensors.

The potential of 5G in healthcare is vast. It opens the doors for faster and more accurate diagnoses and allows for the sharing of vast amounts of genomic data as the U.S. health system embraces more personalized medicine. Furthermore, it promises to drive a further increase in telemedicine, accelerate the adoption of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and enable the explosion of internet-connected devices known as the Internet of Things (IoT)

See More: Digital Transformation in Healthcare: Eight Pillars of Change

The Future Is Here

Although we’re just at the beginning of the 5G journey, the proliferation of 5G-enabled devices is expected to accelerate rapidly. This is not a mere assumption but a reality that’s already taking shape. The Cleveland Clinic is preparing to launch its first fully 5G-enabled facility this summer. This facility, built from the ground up with 5G, will serve as a platform to launch new ideas and innovations in healthcare technology.

The Magic of 5G in Practice

Let’s take a moment to imagine the possibilities that this technology presents. Imagine a doctor being able to see layers beneath the skin before the first incision is ever made. Such practices were never approved before because 4G technology simply could not carry that much information. Now, with 5G, we’re entering a new era of precision and efficiency, one that enables telemedicine, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and a further explosion of internet-connected devices, or the Internet of Things. 

Imagine a patient in a rural area with few providers receiving emergency surgery from a physician in a different part of the country using robotic tools on-site and a customized internet connection. This is the transformative power of 5G in healthcare — it’s about making healthcare more accessible and efficient, no matter where you are

But it’s not just about patients in hospitals. Patients en route via ambulance could be checked by ultrasound for internal bleeding, with results securely sent directly to doctors before arrival. Patients who are admitted will be able to move more freely — and transition home with less hassle, thanks to remote monitoring devices. This removes the tethers to specific areas of the building, allowing us to focus more on patient care rather than logistics. In other words, the distance stops mattering as much.

Worldwide Adoption

It’s not just the United States that’s embracing 5G in healthcare. Globally, the 5G revolution in healthcare settings is picking up steam. China, for example, boasts the first 5G medical private network in the world, having announced in 2019 that it would be the standard moving forward. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they built 20 cabin hospitals that were fully 5G-enabled, demonstrating the potential of 5G to address urgent healthcare needs and crises.

See More: IoT: Changing the Dynamics of Healthcare for Good

Overcoming Challenges

Despite the tremendous potential of 5G in healthcare, the road to full implementation won’t be without challenges. One of the major hurdles is adding 5G into older hospital buildings that weren’t designed for it. 5G signals are more easily blocked by common objects such as thick concrete walls, which many old hospital buildings have. Additionally, although 5G technology is available nearly everywhere in the country today, it’s not yet available inside all buildings at its fastest capacity

Moreover, not everyone within the healthcare sector fully understands the importance of 5G or knows what they can do with it yet. According to estimates, about 20% of U.S. hospitals have added some 5G connectivity, but few are using that capacity to its fullest potential. This underlines the need for more knowledge about how 5G can help them realize the future and deliver care in an ideal way. But as awareness and understanding grow, it’s expected that within five years, most of healthcare will realize that 5G is the optimal choice.

The 5G Way

I cannot emphasize enough the potential of 5G in revolutionizing healthcare delivery. There will certainly be challenges along the way, but the future is undeniably exciting. The switch to 5G is not just a technological upgrade — it’s a step towards a world where healthcare is more efficient, personalized, and accessible.

So here’s to the 5G revolution in healthcare. It’s not just coming, it’s here. I can’t wait to see what this new era of tech-powered healthcare has in store for us!

What key benefits of 5G are you looking forward to? Share with us on  FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window . We’d love to hear from you!

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