On March 16, 3,000 kilometers away, a neurosurgery expert in Hainan successfully completed a “brain pacemaker” for a patient in the General Hospital of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army through high-definition video images transmitted in real time through the 5G network. Implant surgery. The advent of the 5G era has made the once sci-fi “remote surgery” a reality.
What kind of hospitals will 5G hospitals look like? What medical benefits will be brought to patients? “5G will bring greater scenario applications to medical health, and will also bring more technical management services and model innovation.” As the builder of Guangdong’s first 5G smart hospital, Yu Xueqing, president of Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, described it as such.
Leveraging Black Technology to Say Goodbye to “Marathon” Medical Treatment
What unexpected experiences will the 5G era that everyone is looking forward to bring to people in terms of diagnosis and treatment?
In the 5G era, in addition to remote surgery, a 5G green “pre-hospital emergency” channel will also be built. The onset of cardiovascular disease is fast, and the critical few seconds are related to life and death. As soon as the medical staff comes into contact with the patient, the patient’s morbidity and physiological data can be transmitted in real time without loss. Based on this, doctors formulate the optimal emergency diagnosis and treatment process design, and configure the relevant rescue medical equipment. At the same time, the 5G network is used to efficiently plan slicing capabilities to “pave the way” for 120 ambulances in the hospital, racing against time to save lives.
The “marathon” medical treatment that people complained about will also be a thing of the past. Yu Xueqing said that in the future, the waiting time for patients’ appointments can be accurate to 1 minute. Consultation, examination, treatment or nursing, prescribing medicines, paying fees, etc. will be “one-stop”. In addition, under the premise of meeting the requirements of medical regulations, chronic disease patients can enjoy high-definition video consultation and medication refill services at home through the internet chronic disease management platform. .
5G has the “specialty” of data mining. Through in-depth mining of patients’ medical data, medical resources can be allocated reasonably, and information can be flexibly exchanged between doctors, patients and various departments of the hospital. It is expected to solve the situation that different hospitals need to shoot different films. After the application of 5G, the 24-hour online artificial intelligence “AI doctor” may be online to provide patients with intelligent diagnosis and treatment suggestions at any time.
“In 5G+ medical care, hospitals are the application bases. Through various network terminals, the deep integration of 5G technology with big data and artificial intelligence is reflected, and smart medical care will follow.” Yu Xueqing said.
At the just-concluded National Two Sessions, Cai Xiujun, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and President of Run Run Shaw Hospital affiliated to Zhejiang University School of Medicine, also suggested that the information interconnection of major hospitals should be opened as soon as possible, so that people do not need to repeat inspections between hospitals and solve the problem of seeing a doctor. annoying problem. As the first hospital in the country to apply 4G technology in the medical field, Run Run Shaw’s future hospital model has taken the lead in the country.
According to him, the hospital is currently discussing a cooperation plan with Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Huawei) to apply 5G technology to medical fields such as remote consultation as soon as possible.
5G medical services depend on high-tech support
On March 15, all 30 5G base stations of the 5G experimental network of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University were opened, marking the completion of the construction of the first 5G medical experimental network in China. “We will rely on this platform to carry out a series of 5G medical application research, including intra-hospital mobile informatization, inter-hospital collaboration such as remote B-ultrasound, and out-of-hospital telemedicine,” said the relevant person in charge of the hospital.
According to public reports, starting from the end of last year, Union Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Mengchao Hepatobiliary Hospital of Fujian Medical University, and Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital have successively disclosed the construction of 5G Hospital.
5G technology is mainly used in medical links such as convenient medical procedures, smart first aid and wards, mobile consultation, pre-hospital first aid, and hierarchical diagnosis and treatment systems. The 5G medical service of Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital will be the first to be carried out in outpatient clinics.
The application of 5G medical treatment is inseparable from the support of high technology. “5G technology will build a mobile basic network with ultra-large bandwidth, ultra-low latency, ultra-multiple connections, and a safe and reliable mobile network for the medical industry.” A relevant person in charge of Huawei said that the existing 4G technology bandwidth is not enough, and in terms of pre-hospital emergency care , High-definition ultrasound and high-definition video backhaul are limited. In the future, after the popularization of 5G network, it will help real-time transmission of information, and problems such as video “blocking” will be easily solved.
Taking Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital as an example, Huawei will cooperate with it in digital patient experience, medical Robots, and remote MDT consultation to jointly build a “smart” Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital based on 5G technology.
The biggest feature of 5G is that it breaks through the point-to-point communication mode of traditional communication technology between people, which accelerates the integration of various industries, makes the application of vertical industries more diverse, and accelerates the formation of a new ecology of the Industrial Internet. “In the era of 3G and 4G, we have also tried to integrate with various industries, but due to technical limitations, we have not designed them very well. 5G has been going in the direction of ‘integration’ from the very beginning, so now we not only see 5G medical treatment, but also other industries. Integration is already in full swing,” said Zhu Fusheng, director of the Guangdong Institute of New Generation Communication and Network Innovation.
Various provinces have also heard that 5G is “dancing”, seizing the development opportunities of 5G industrial restructuring and market iteration. Not long ago, the Jiangxi Provincial Government issued the “5G Development Plan in Jiangxi Province (2019-2023)”, which emphasized the promotion of the application of the new model of “5G + medical care”. For example, it will explore the application of 5G in the research and development, production, cold chain distribution, product traceability and sales process of medical testing, medical drugs, medical equipment and health care products.
The landing still needs to continue to refine the application scenarios
“The application of 5G in medical care shows everyone a future scenario.” In Zhu Fusheng’s view, behind the high attention of 5G medical care, in fact, hides the people’s desire for high-quality medical resources.
At present, the phenomenon of unbalanced distribution of medical resources in my country is obvious, especially in small towns and rural areas where medical resources are relatively scarce. The concept of telemedicine has actually been proposed for many years, but there are very few practical applications. Because telemedicine has higher requirements on network communication delay, bandwidth, reliability and security. 3G and 4G technologies are difficult to meet their needs.
“In the remote operation of surgery, if you look at the screen for a few seconds before proceeding to the next step due to the delay of the network, it may be too late to stop the bleeding. 5G technology has the characteristics of large capacity, high speed and low delay, which can Provide strong technical support for telemedicine, doctors can retrieve image information faster, carry out remote consultation and remote surgery.” Zhu Fusheng said.
Under 5G technology, with the gradual maturity of telemedicine, it is expected to share more medical resources with the public and alleviate the problem of imbalance between supply and demand of medical resources.
Some people describe 5G as a disruptive revolution in the medical field. In this regard, Zhu Fusheng said that the impact of 5G on medical care will indeed be huge. However, in order to fully implement and advance 5G medical care, it is necessary to focus on improving relevant laws, policies and regulations at the national level, especially strengthening the content of network security construction.
“After all, the network is uncontrollable, and remote surgery involves ethics and surgical risks. During the operation, once the network is delayed, jittered, or retransmitted images, it will cause irreversible risks to the patient.” He said, adding 5G medical care is implemented on the network, and potential risks such as hacking must also be considered. For hospitals, in addition to strengthening technical construction, they should also cultivate the operational skills of medical staff under 5G technology.
5G technology is still in the pre-commercial stage. Zhu Fusheng suggested that low-risk surgery should be tried first, rather than high-risk surgery such as brain surgery. “Technological maturity is also a gradual process. Reckless advancement will only help the growth. If the technology is not yet fully mature, once a failure occurs, it will lead to doubts and a major blow to the entire industry.” He said that the implementation of 5G medical care requires planning. , Step by step, and then continue to refine the application scenarios.