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Unravelling New Beginnings with 5G and Healthcare


By NIIT Editorial

Published on 30/12/2020

6 minutes

The entire healthcare industry is routing for an overhaul having been forced into a corner by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. An indiscreet push towards digitalising every possible aspect of the healthcare value chain is on. The cornerstones of this movement will be sensor-driven data collection, coupled with predictive analytics and the impending mass-market installation of 5G telecommunications networks. 

 

5G transmission speeds combined with low latency networks could, almost single-handedly, guarantee the enablement of inter-connected healthcare syndicates capable of handling colossal operations with thoroughness and dexterity.

 

How Will 5G Make Healthcare Better?

 

The ongoing health crisis has exposed our shortcomings to serve the underprivileged, malnourished sections of the society who have been left devastated in the wake of COVID-19. Geographies with poor internet broadband connectivity could be upended with the gradual onset of 5G and bring the hitherto under-served societal strata on the radar. Tele-health measures and remote monitoring systems that require consistent internet will work better with 5G hardware which, by the way, would not mind traffic spikes that otherwise congest broadband frequencies.

 

Instant Data Transmission

 

Test reporting often consumes crucial time and increases the turn-around period for doctors to get back to patients. In cases of deeper medical examinations such as MRIs and CT Scans, the digital files could be as big as 1 G.B. per patient. Imposing a 5G architectural layer could fasten transmission rates. 

 

Patient records that earlier took days to be validated and medical conditions diagnosed, would happen within minutes. Doctors can better manage time and tender to exponentially more patients whose data they’d interact with digitally. This is especially a blessing for rural dwellers for whom access to medical professionals is often miles away.

 

Telemedicine

 

The market size for this healthcare domain continues to grow as patients expect a new standard in medical consultations. Why painstakingly cover physical distances, when quality advisory can be meted out over the internet. As per MarketsandMarkets, the Telehealth/Telemedicine sector will grow at a CAGR of 37.7% from 2020 to 2025 and be valued at USD 191.7 billion by 2025. The major reason for this expansion is accredited to the growing reach of the internet and government-sponsored programs that prioritize rural people. 

 

Immersive Technology

 

As per projections from Persistence Market Research, the AR VR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 49.1% from 2018 - 2026. Healthcare will not be untouched by this expansion it would be a catalyst. Already, medical institutions are using technology to train students with Edtech. 

 

Spatial computing could be utilized to magnify and present surgical results and explain the same to patients. In another use case, dental care experts are using iOS-based 3D software to create castings. Image tracking can be applied to simulate human anatomy and fine-tune advanced preparations for surgical needs. 

 

Processing such humongous bits of digital data over multiple applications, all real-time and effortlessly would happen with 5G. Doctors would diagnose and prescribe treatment through virtual conference centres and patients could receive treatment without stepping out an inch.

 

Real-Time Monitoring

 

Patient monitoring plays a measurable role in health recovery due to which doctors often route for hospital admissions. However, mainstream adoption of wearable devices, powered by vogue, have led to estimations stating that such articles could reduce hospital costs by 16% in the next 5 years. 

 

One roadblock hindering their greater spread is the capacity of 4G networks to support high-maintenance digital devices and transmit the data immediately to the concerned experts. Consequently, doctors cannot access the patient’s condition in real-time due to which quality treatment could lose its lustre. 

 

5G networks will be a step-up from their current counterparts in terms of capacity and efficiency. Low latency transmission rates would ensure doctors monitor patients effectively whether it is through video feeds or dashboards to intervene and recommend bespoke practices.

 

Artificial Intelligence

 

AI could act as the third eye of doctors and help them figure out reasons contributing to untenable diseases. Healthcare archives are full of patient information that is fed to algorithms, purposed to identify patterns. Evidence-based on x-rays and scans can be processed by AI to ascertain early-stage symptoms that have the likelihood of turning into complications, such as cancer. 

 

Running on powerful 5G Graphical Processing Units (GPU), AI will have the capability to learn and relearn from the yesteryear mistakes and lead to an unprecedented scale of improvement in healthcare services. 

 

5G - The Catalyst We Need 

 

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