Remote diagnostics using 5G demonstrated in Birmingham


University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and BT have showcased 5G ‘connected ambulance’ scenarios.

The demonstration – which took place at the latter’s Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre – linked a paramedic working in the Edgbaston area to a clinician nearly two miles away, using BT’s recently rolled-out 5G network.
The clinician wore a VR headset, enabling them to visualise events from the paramedic’s point of view, while also using a joystick to focus on specific injuries and direct things in real time. The technology also enabled remote viewing of a patient’s medical records.
The event followed the UK’s first demonstration of remote-controlled ultrasound scanning over 5G, taking place at the same venue in June.
Speaking of the technology, Fotis Karonis, CTIO and 5G executive lead for BT Enterprise, said: “Not only is 5G capable of ultrafast speeds, it has much lower latency, meaning there is little to no delay when transmitting data over the network. This is of significant interest to the NHS because of its potential for medical applications, such as diagnostics and preventative healthcare.
Dave Rosser, UHB chief executive, said: “We are excited by the huge potential of 5G technology and how it can help transform healthcare in the future. At present, the urgent care system is based on an antiquated model and our centres are dealing with huge numbers of patients every day.
“The characteristics of 5G mean it should provide many advantages, including speeding up diagnoses for patients and potentially reducing the number of ambulance and A&E department visits.”

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Philip Mason
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