The world’s biggest consumer electronics show, CES 2018, is revealing how 5G technology will shape healthcare for the coming decade. From January 9-12th, the event attracted over 170,000 visitors to sin city with nearly 4,000 companies showcasing their innovative technologies. The implications of 5G has captured the minds of leaders in transportation and manufacturing but remain unclear how it will impact the health arena. As 5G is perfected, its uses continue to evolve along with a definition of its capabilities.
5G is loosely defined as the 5th-generation wireless broadband network used to bring our technology to life. Designed to vastly capitalize on former generations through boosted speeds, expanded coverage+connectivity points, and low latency, it has everyone talking on opportunities it presents for efficiency in the workplace. Words such as “revolutionary” and “transformative” are often brought up when discussing its potential. The first 5G standard was approved in December of last year and is predicted to enter the market during the first half of 2019.
Execs from Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia shared their insight on 5G in a CES panel discussion. Regulations may be a hindrance for medical professionals to adopt but is expected to play a vital part in remote healthcare such as telemedicine. EVP of technology for Qualcomm, Matt Grob, vocalized the advantage hospitals will have by incorporating 5G saying:
There’s also a huge opportunity to use 5G as a reliable technology in hospitals. It could form highly reliable systems that medical professionals can depend on.
During CES’s Digital Health Summit, Kian Saneii, CEO of Independa Inc., discussed important elements of healthcare consumerization. He believes that technology is aligning with the needs of patients and will improve their quality of life whether in hospitals or at home. Because over 75% of medical resources are channeled into patients with chronic health conditions, mostly the elderly, 5G offers a way to optimize support for the most isolated convalescents. In doing so, this will reduce chances of self-neglect and prescription-neglect while providing family members with the support needed to improve their loved one’s health.
This health fitness tracker is the first “device that is not a device” but rather a tag that sticks to your clothes and provides health recommendations in real time. Its discrete design is to emphasize the maintenance of your body rather than worrying about the device itself. It does everything a traditional wearable would do but instead of looking at your health goals in terms of a checklist waiting to be completed, Spire suggests ideas on a moment’s basis. If it notices you’re tense, it will recommend a breathing exercise to calm down. If it knows you’re going on a date in the evening, it may suggest doing some exercise to relieve anxiety.
Samsung has created a modern inhaling device with a mobile app designed to rebuild the lungs of patients with cardiovascular or respiratory damages. GoBreath evaluates how patients should conduct their breathing based on the severity of their condition. Their 3-step process consists of deep breathing, inspiration and coughing for effectively recovering from lung damage. GoBreath also offers exercise suggestions and physicians can monitor their patient’s activities online or in the cloud.
This first ever battery-free wearable electronic sensor monitors a user’s exposure to UV radiation. Engineered to rest comfortably on a person’s fingernail for up to 2 weeks, UV Sense than collects and stores data on its mobile app for 3 months. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, it provides users with valuable information on UV exposure when in certain environments. Its stylish design was made to blend with the growing nail art trend while promoting healthy skincare maintenance.
Now that companies are able to create products and services on the newly established 5G standard, there is virtually a world of opportunities up for grabs. Transportation and manufacturing may seem the easiest to be integrated with 5G but healthcare is where it will create immense value. Remote monitoring products, analysis and diagnostic solutions, embedded technologies and over the counter hearing devices are only some of the ways in which 5G can better serve healthcare recipients. CES 2018 is merely a sneak peek into how 5G will improve the quality of life for all.
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