Technology has been the key driver for our collective evolution and advancement, regardless of where we live. Electricity, telecommunications, and the internet are all technological milestones that stand apart in the thousands of years of history that we can recall. We are currently at the brink of globally implementing 5G technology, the latest industrial revolution, as it will drive a trillion-dollar industry worldwide. Among the most affected sectors will be the global healthcare services.
The 5G wireless technology will allow us to browse with a speed of 10 GBPS (gigabytes per second), which is ten times faster than the mainstream fibre optic internet service available in the market.
According to The Wall Street Journal, downloading a song-list of an hour needs seven minutes with the 3G; almost 20 seconds with 4G network and with 5G technology, it may only need 0.6 milliseconds. The difference is vast and will have a massive impact on everything we do online.
Based on the recent pandemic’s global devastation, even the most developed countries like the US realized that their healthcare services are not up to the needs of the current time. Implementation of 5G technology in this sense is already quickening around the world.
What It Means for Patients, Healthcare Professionals & The Future of Medicine
5G will become the game-changing characteristic of the global healthcare industry. Patients will gain access to doctors in real-time. Healthcare professionals can completely automate their daily routine, including diagnosing patients, prescribing their medicines, and even creating digital billing for their services.
The future of treatment based on the 5G technology is all about managing healthcare remotely, using state-of-the-art 5G enabled medical devices and more advanced treatment.
It is an obvious rationale that the research and development in the healthcare industry will further revolutionize. Medical researchers will delve into stem cell treatment more confidently, precision-based surgeries will become much safer, and patients will get the chance to live a better life in the long run.
How 5G Will Transform Healthcare in the Future
5G technology can change life itself as we know it today. At the heart of 5G technological advancement is healthcare services. It is about time that a globally improved healthcare service standard is available under the UN’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Goal number 3 is regarding the global populace’s ‘Health and Well-being, and 5G can be the right tool to achieve this goal finally. Apart from this, access to the internet is already known as a fundamental human right, so having 5G access will help in healthcare service improvement.
5G can enable Virtual Reality in healthcare services; it can facilitate rehabilitation tasks in patients with multiple sclerosis or with mild or severe physical injuries through workouts by licensed physiotherapists who may be living halfway around the world.
Virtual reality can allow therapists to supervise their patients’ routines, which will affect their motivation as they try to move forward, all because of 5G technology and its infinite possibilities.
5G technology will be an excellent source for any branch of medicine; it can help introduce alternate medical treatments like the latest stem cell treatments available in most developed countries.
It is possible to improve doctor-patient relationships, as faster connectivity will shorten distances and implement technologies requiring more significant amounts of data processing in real-time and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Technologies that humanize medicine and bring it closer to the patient no matter where they are can be easily in use with 5G, and medical-based knowledge management will become possible.
The Impact of 5G Technology on Medical Applications
All the technology that is related to medical applications will receive a sudden boost. 5G technology will provide a lot more bandwidth, increased speed and almost zero latency. The result will be seamless high-definition voice and video communications done in real-time.
Health professionals will send and receive large amounts of data over long distances to perform advanced healthcare services. And telemedicine becoming a direct application that brings the doctor and patient together on screens will be a reality. We have highlighted a few aspects of healthcare services that will upgrade with the help of 5G technology below:
The pandemic has forced doctors and patients to interact from a distance. The first line of battle identified in the COVID-19 is that the health specialists have to safeguard everyone’s health, including themselves. The solution is to digitize the interaction and automate the dispensing of common medicines or make inquiries by phone or video call as efficient as face-to-face interactions.
Telehealth services will shorten distances between health specialists and patients globally; imagine your doctor diagnosing you from a different country and remaining just a click away.
Therefore, we can resolve uncertainties about diseases, treatment issues and their medications. Telehealth services can also work on prevention services and even help rehabilitate patients suffering from various chronic diseases.
Remote Operating Procedures
5G technology can enable healthcare professionals to reach remote places online in less than a second and perform precision-based surgeries from the farthest part of the world. Doctors will have instant access to the clinical history of a patient living in the rural areas without the necessity for them to travel to that location, reducing the cost of the treatment at an exceptional level.
5G will reduce the distances and restrict any long waiting queues; it will improve patient diagnoses as the doctor will always have access to the necessary information of the patient to make a quick decision.
One of the most prominent scenarios of the 5G technology in healthcare services is remote-based surgical treatments, which is the possibility of operating someone remotely in real-time. Either in direct contact with other specialist surgeons or using specialized technology and machinery to facilitate delicate surgical tasks requiring surgical precision.
The application of 5G in remote surgery will allow surgeons from various fields to communicate and even conduct the most complex surgeries with the help of fast internet service. Specialists will be able to intervene in the operation with video calls to guide the surgeon.
Medical students can study from retransmission of images of the operation done using robotic arms operated from a distance. 5G technology can remove the issue of geographic distances when it comes to healthcare services.
Improved Patient-Physician Communication
5G technology will enable centralized global disease-related knowledge management practices; the recent pandemic enforced the need for global knowledge sharing to treat patients of COVID-19 better.
It is evident that if we didn’t have the internet and effective communications regarding Corona Safety Measures, the devastation of the pandemic could be much worse.
5G technology will also enable Augmented Reality in healthcare services, which requires sending large amounts of data in real-time. AR can display vital information through special eye-glasses that can help the surgeon during their surgeries. It may be something from a science-fiction movie, but its applications are possible once 5G is available globally.
Faster File Transfers
5G technology will allow us to share data, process it, and reach a solution in a few seconds. Cloud storage and edge-based computing are leading technologies that require a good bandwidth to facilitate the whole process of information sharing even if the users are continents away from each other.
Sharing these processed data to work accordingly seems straightforward, yet it needs a fast internet network with massive bandwidths and almost zero latency. 5G can facilitate this type of technology in different branches of healthcare services.
Patients suffering from psychological diseases like ADHD, Autism and various others often need constant supervision of their healthcare service providers. 5G can enable real-time supervision of the patients through high-quality video surveillance without dedicating human staff for each patient.
Possible Roadblocks in Implantation Of 5G In Healthcare
Conspiracy theorists have showcased the 5G technology as a negative social development, reasoning that high-frequency waves can negatively affect human well-being. This claim needs confirmation with adequate research and statistics.
However, the benefits of 5G technology to social well-being is clear to all the stakeholders. There are, however, various infrastructural challenges faced by 5G service providers that include but are not restricted to Right of Way, bureaucratic hindrances, political influences, financial investments and even the need for 5G enabled IoT devices.
All these challenges are workable, and it is because 5G is not a new concept in its entirety. The Internet is already very much part of our daily lives, and 5G is only the next step in sustaining the internet as a fundamental right for global connectivity.
The need for advanced healthcare services is the driver of the need for 5G technology. The medical industry may advocate for the faster implementation of 5G technology on a global scale.
5G technology offers so much utility and benefits to society overall that we can’t imagine a world without it. Businesses and consumers will both benefit from this technology on equal footings. Similarly, 5G enabled healthcare services will be much more effective than traditional medical services.
The patients will gain highly beneficial treatments at lower costs and access specialists of any disease with ease.
Healthcare professionals will also be able to enhance their efficiency while treating their patients remotely. Research and development will gain a lot more assistance, and innovation-led healthcare services will finally reach the patients living in remote regions of the world.