Blog co-authored by Paul Norkus.
Wireless communications have a long history in healthcare, dating back to the first wireless pagers developed for doctors in the 1950s. But with 5G technology, mobile service providers have the potential to redefine the future of healthcare. Doctors delivering in-home healthcare through mobile video, accelerating drug trials by using “virtual” patients and AI systems that can make life-or-death decisions are just some of the potential 5G applications that healthcare providers around the world are studying.
Some of this is happening today over 4G but what’s so special about 5G technology?
- It’s 100x faster than 4G.
- It’s 200x more responsive than 4G.
- It can support up to one million connected devices in a single square kilometer.
- It can deliver millions of different network experiences through network slicing.
- It can host applications at the edge of the healthcare network to handle powerful real-time processing at the point of need rather than backhauling data over the internet and losing precious time.
Envisioning better healthcare with 5G
Capabilities like these capture the imagination, and healthcare providers have already imagined some very exciting ways to use 5G services to improve care. For example, clinical researchers are looking at ways that 5G technology can help improve drug trials. By collecting data from smartphone apps and wearable devices, pharmaceutical companies can create a digital twin of trial participants and process data in real time rather than collecting clinical data through a lab or fixed facility. This can dramatically speed up the development and approval of new drugs which is critical for healthcare providers in the years ahead.
Remote healthcare is another area where 5G has the potential to be both a game-changer and a lifesaver. With the low latency, high bandwidth and enhanced security that 5G provides, healthcare professionals can make video house calls with patients without fear of dropped connections, choppy audio or frozen screens. At the same time, healthcare workers can be tracking real-time readings from wearable devices, such as medical monitors and fitness bracelets, to get a full picture of patients’ health. Further into the future, doctors may even be able to perform remote surgery with the help of 5G communications.
Emergency healthcare services can also greatly benefit from 5G technology by enabling remote medical workers to treat traumatic injuries at the accident site. In the critical moments after an injury, the ability to bring in a broader medical team to assess and diagnose injuries can save lives and lead to better medical outcomes. Advance visibility into injuries also allows hospitals to better prepare the resources necessary for an emergency patient’s arrival.
We are helping to drive the future of healthcare
Dell Technologies is no stranger to hospitals and healthcare. Over 10,000 hospitals around the world rely on Dell Technologies healthcare solutions. For example, two out of three hospitals use Dell desktops or laptops and Dell EMC storage solutions. And nearly one in every two hospitals is running a Dell EMC server.
Today, we’re extending our technology commitment to healthcare providers by working with industry-leading partners to build the 5G solutions of tomorrow. Our Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab (OTEL) is a new state-of-the-art facility where 5G software/hardware vendors and enterprises can come together to build, test and validate solutions for healthcare and other essential applications. By bringing our experience in hardware, data-driven intelligence and automation to bear on 5G healthcare solutions, Dell Technologies is helping to bring healthcare closer to everyone.