The last 27th of February, in a crowded auditorium of the 2019 Mobile World Congress, hosted in Barcelona, the chief of the hospital clinic gastrointestinal surgery unit uses 5G technology to direct and assist a live surgery via a video link.
“I am drawing with my hand on this screen, and at the same time on their screen,” said Antonio de Lacy, Ph.D. in Medicine and Surgery from the Universitat de Barcelona, while he was assisting surgery, “Before 5G, we had to freeze the image to draw, but the surgeon is moving on and that is not ideal”
According to the doctors, it was the first time that a 5G connection was used to communicate during surgery. Doctor De Lacy wasn’t moving any hand inside the Operation Room, but he was providing instant advice and guidance with no lag.
De Lacy points out that providing help or assist remotely and in real time was only possible with a 5G connection, a technology which was the central topic in 2019 Mobile World Congress.
“5G is going to have a massive impact on people’s lives,” says Laila Worrell, CEO of Altran North America, a high-tech engineering company. “We are going to see a big advance in quality of life that 5G can deliver for individuals.”
5G networks will allow a huge rise in the Internet of Things technology, giving the necessary infrastructure to manage large amounts of data, allowing us to have a smarter and more connected world.
De Lacy considered this as the “first step” for the “dream” of remote surgery and expects will “not only allow to direct” the doctors and nurses, “but also to move the instruments used in the operating room.”
Each year, around 143 million patients do not have surgery because of the fact that there are not enough expert surgeons. Doctors worldwide expect 5G technology could help fight against that statistic.
With average download speeds of around 1GBps, the new 5G technology can be 100x times faster than 4G, so mobile networks will be able to manage self-driving cars, virtual reality, smart cities technologies, and robots. Health care is another area with major potential.
The search for new fields in which the 5G technology can contribute is articulated through the 5G National Observatory. The European 5G Observatory purpose is monitor market developments, including trials and other actions taken by industry stakeholders and Member States in the context of 5G rollout in Europe and beyond.
Sources: CatalanNews, La Vanguardia, CNN, TechRadar, MWC Barcelona, 5G Observatory