The 5G technology is promised to transform a multitude of industries worldwide, and the healthcare industry is no different. 5G networks would change—and improve—all of the critical components of healthcare, a subject especially meaningful today as the spread of COVID-19 has put unprecedented stress on healthcare systems worldwide.

 

5G promises to provide essential levels of connectivity to enable a new health ecosystem that can meet patient and provider needs accurately, efficiently, conveniently, cost-effectively, and at a substantial scale. It’s just a matter of time until the full potential of 5G networks will be fully integrated into healthcare settings.

 

Improved Patients Access Care

Improved patient access care is one of the most essential improvements brought upon the 5G networks. This is because the world could face a shortage of physicians in the near future,  especially in rural areas, due to the limited medical providers available locally. 5G technology will allow patients that lack transportation or are too sick to visit the hospital to use telehealth services to communicate more quickly and efficiently with physicians.

 

Another thrilling prospect of this technology is the potential of telesurgery. Specialized surgeons located hundreds and thousands of miles from a surgical site will be able to operate using robotics and AI assistance remotely.  As a result, the number of patients that the hospital could accommodate will increase while simultaneously trimming labor costs.  

 

Additionally, with the aid of 5G, communication between all parties involved will be improved drastically. For example, combining the use of artificial intelligence and interconnected sensors will enable us to document and analyze interactions between patients and staff. This will increase the effectiveness in the process of seeking medical solutions and personalized care.

 

Peak Reliability

With all the talk about speed and latency required for 5G healthcare services, there’s an underlying risk about overlooking its reliability, as real-time surgeries and medical decision-making requires absolute reliability. Thankfully, the 5G network with its massive system capacity, extremely low latency, ultra-high reliability & availability, and low device energy consumption makes this a non-issue. Compared to its predecessors, the 4G networks, reliability will increase dramatically when 5G transitions from the mid-band of the wireless spectrum to the much higher-end millimeter-wave technology.

When it comes to the healthcare industry, reliability is one of the most important aspects to look at, and the 5G network’s sheer prowess is proven to be the most reliable network to date. No longer will there be an issue regarding anything connection-related, thus future-proofing the healthcare industry.

Cloud and Data Storage

The 5G implementation is heavily dependent on overcoming data security challenges of networks built by out-of-country vendors and the market-based challenges of private providers, as they both are competing for access to bands of the wireless spectrum. However, cybersecurity is just as crucial as cybersecurity for hospitals at the provider level. 

“Premises-based” systems like on-site servers are more susceptible to data incidents such as breaches, systemic outages and take more on-the-ground resources to counter in the event of a disaster. Upgrading into cloud-based systems with the capabilities to be updated with the latest cybersecurity features without any delay and disruption in services will be essential. This will impact data storage and exchanges as well.

The healthcare sector is an uber-user of data. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine notes that as much as 30% of the world’s stored data is generated in the healthcare industry, with a single patient typically generating about 80 MB each year in electronic medical record data. This data is further proof of the need to update the existing architecture to 5G to allow hospitals and health systems to capture, transfer, and manage data in real-time, specifically large imaging files.

Furthermore, medical image transfers are often time and data-consuming. 5G integration will address this problem by allowing lightning-fast transmission of even the most extensive image files, such as MRIs. This will be imperative as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will approve more procedures for outpatient surgery, where accurate imaging is critical for surgical decision-making.

Overhauling the current medical systems into cloud-based and robust data storage with the implementation of the 5G will provide state-of-the-art cybersecurity and streamline all data-related matters.

In Conclusion

The 5G network has brought wonders for our industries, and this piece of technology has leaped even further by saving people’s lives, literally.

VIAVI Solutions has the confidence to implement new fiber networks or execute quality assurance on existing networks and assist you with 5G validation, 5G testing, and 5G visibility in pursuit of more reliable networking. VIAVI offers end-to-end network solutions through 350+ global Channel Partners to meet your needs. Contact us for more information.

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Channel Marketing Manager - APAC

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