5G and private networks will have a major impact on the future of the healthcare industry. Because of this, it is important to become familiar with 5G and how it will help save lives by enabling faster response times, better sharing of patient information, and increased data security.
Benefits of 5G in Healthcare
Today, there are several limitations that connected healthcare solutions face, including:
- Lack of data security due to WiFi networks and legacy telecom technology
- Lack of access to private 5G/LTE Networks
- Single-network SIMs and expensive roaming solutions
The ability to transmit data at much higher speeds with greater security will fuel countless possibilities within the healthcare ecosystem. The leading benefits of 5G and private networks for healthcare include:
- Reduced latency for faster communication between healthcare providers and patients.
- Unmatched security so that patient data remains secure (especially compared to WiFi and Bluetooth alternatives).
Where is 5G Making an Impact?
There are five primary areas in which 5G is making strides.
#1: Wearables and Connected Medical Devices
The use of wearables in healthcare has rapidly increased in recent years. These devices help patients and healthcare providers monitor important biometric data while also providing faster response times in emergencies. Some of these devices include:
- Glucose monitoring devices
- Cardiac monitoring devices
- Fitness trackers
- Smart watches
#2: Connected Emergency Services
Connected ambulances are the future of emergency response. 5G can enable doctors and paramedics to collaborate in real-time even when they are miles apart. These connected ambulances provide more information about patients and their health history faster than ever before, playing a critical role in transforming how emergency services are delivered.
#3: Drone Delivery of Medical Supplies
During the COVID-19 pandemic, drones were used for remote virus testing and to safely deliver medical supplies. These drones were mainly used to help underserved communities around the world, but 5G in healthcare will play a critical role in ensuring these kinds of use cases remain connected in the future, especially within cities.
#4: Employee Panic Buttons
Hospitals around the country are arming nurses with employee safety devices or “panic buttons” in response to nationwide reports of violence in hospitals. Three in ten nurses who took part in a survey reported an increase in violence where they work, stemming from factors including staff shortages and more visitor restrictions. Panic buttons must always stay connected, and both 5G and private networks within hospitals will ensure these devices function as the lifeline they are intended to be.
#5: Hospital and Medical Campuses
Demand for private networks and 5G in healthcare is increasing. Private LTE/5G Networks have enhanced security features, and many hospitals and medical campuses will utilize these private networks to ensure data security and HIPAA compliance. Private LTE/5G networks are typically deployed as a replacement for WiFi, which lacks the level of enhanced security that is necessary for transmitting protected health and personal data over the Internet.
The Future of 5G and Healthcare
The COVID-19 pandemic gave us a glimpse into how the healthcare industry will continue to evolve by leveraging innovative technologies. It also brought to light the importance of monitoring and treating patients through remote or virtual care. 5G and private networks will play a critical role in the future of healthcare by connecting everything from wearables to emergency services and panic buttons to drones, hospitals, and medical campuses. By reducing latency, improving reliability, and increasing security, new healthcare use cases will be unlocked and benefit from the availability of 5G and private networks.