5G: The Driving Force of Future Healthcare
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5G: The Driving Force of Future Healthcare

By Pharma Tech Outlook | Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Consumers now rely on smartphones and wearables to track their fitness goals and other health indicators. While this trend is on the rise, new mobile applications and wearable devices are opening up new frontiers for healthcare service providers, users, and other innovators. Moreover, next-generation technologies like 5G networks will unlock greater possibilities for patient engagement, physician collaboration, and remote care leading to better outcomes.

The broad adoption of 4G LTE and Wi-Fi in hospitals has wholly changed the healthcare scenario. The implementation of next-generation technologies can further expand mobile health applications by providing extreme reliability, capacity, and low latency. The ability to support live high-quality calls and sending massive image files in real-time in remote areas is critical. This process requires a next-generation network with sufficient capacity and low lag.

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With 5G, home healthcare will gain traction. Services like monitoring, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services will be possible at home. According to Statista, the global healthcare device market will be worth $4.3 billion in 2019, and by 2021 the market will be a whopping $17.8 billion. Patients with chronic diseases will take advantage of these smart tools. Smart wearables provide relevant information to the nurses and doctors in real-time to take appropriate action in an emergency.

5G readies a hospital and its team to receive the patient with proper personnel and equipment based on the personal data and images obtained from the paramedic’s team. It will also be beneficial in remote and rural areas where medical specialists can collaborate with an emergency medical technician (EMT) and assist them in the field.

Using virtual reality (VR) is an advanced way of patient care and medical training. VR is high-definition by nature and 5G will be the vital driving force for the implementation of VR. Doctors and medical students will be able to use VR to simulate operations that are limited to surgeons operating. VR has a lot of benefits other than medical training. For example, putting patients into VR environments instead of pain medication while going through a painful procedure can distract the patient. It also helps in reducing chronic pain and encourages rehabilitative movement. VR can also help children with autism to improve their communication and social skills. 5G networks are vital for high-quality VR at home.      

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