Hackernoon logoSaving Lives Through Technology: Emergency Healthcare & 5G by@ShannonFlynn

Saving Lives Through Technology: Emergency Healthcare & 5G

Emergency medical services (EMS) play a critical role in treating patients who need immediate medical care. With the emergence of 5G technology, emergency care is set to transform. The capabilities of this new technology are far-reaching and on a much larger scale. 5G will be a game-changer for healthcare in general, including telemedicine and telehealth. Medical drones will surely be the solution in medical care delivery, especially in rural areas or regions where congested highways make it difficult for ambulances to get through efficiently.
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It's no secret that time means everything when diagnosing and treating a patient for an illness or disease. Emergency medical services (EMS) play a critical role in treating patients who need immediate medical care, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that improving emergency healthcare processes is necessary.

The healthcare system is in need of some upgrades, but these changes may come sooner than one might think. With the emergence of 5G technology, emergency care is set to transform. At first, many people believe 5G technology will only impact those using cell phones. However, the capabilities of this new technology are far-reaching and on a much larger scale. 

Keep on reading to learn more about the significant impact 5G technology will have on the EMS industry and how EMS workers will leverage the technology to improve overall patient care. The 

Benefits of 5G in Healthcare

Aside from EMS applications, 5G will be a game-changer for healthcare in general. Telehealth and telemedicine, two similar yet different concepts, will be able to reap the benefits of 5G. Below are some of the 5G benefits that will empower healthcare professionals in their day-to-day responsibilities:

  • Sharing large files: Large X-ray, MRI, and CT scan images can be easily transferred between medical professionals, whether it's an EMS worker or a licensed physician in a hospital.
  • Growing telemedicine: At the core of telemedicine is live video chatting, which will be more seamless on a 5G network than 4G LTE networks.
  • Remote monitoring: To provide more personalized and intuitive care, using Internet of Things technology and 5G networks will assist doctors and allow them to monitor patients remotely.
  • Improved computing capabilities: While healthcare providers are already using limited 5G capabilities, the future will entail more augmented reality opportunities and virtual reality treatments. For example, critically ill patients will receive tailored, personalized content that will alleviate their pain.

So, how else will 5G-enabled devices make a positive impact?

5G Tech Applications in Healthcare

Below are some of the new technologies that will surely make an impact on the healthcare industry and its workers.

Medical Drone Operators

Although consumers mainly use drones for entertainment and video-capturing purposes, there's a space for them in the healthcare industry. In Canada, drones were tested against ambulances to see how effectively they could deliver care to patients in need. Drone operators during the trial run were in Vancouver, remotely operating the medical drones.

Drones may well be the solution in medical care delivery, especially in rural areas or regions where congested highways make it difficult for ambulances to get through efficiently. When EMS workers have trouble accessing remote locations, like inside mines, for example, it can make it even more challenging to tend to a patient that needs attention. Medical drones will surely be a game-changer for EMS workers all over the country. The accessibility that drones provide could mean the difference between life and death.

Augmented Reality Glasses

One company is already breaking into the healthcare industry with its intuitive smart glasses. Vuzix, a New York-based firm, is delivering medical solutions to teams in hospitals and remote doctors. Their patented 5G-enabled smart glasses can connect to physicians who can offer guidance to emergency medical technicians (EMTs) when they're working with a critically ill patient. This shows how efficiently medical professionals can work together to treat patients who are in dire need of care. 

The glasses are only one use case for 5G technology in the healthcare industry, but one that can cause significant shifts in the communication between EMT and the doctor who ends up treating a patient. Improved communication will undoubtedly create better relationships between EMTs, doctors, and patients. It's undoubtedly a win-win situation.

5G-Enabled Ambulances

Aside from drones and glasses, a very practical application of 5G technology is connecting ambulances to an interconnected network to improve response times and real-time monitoring of patients. Ambulances have to fight against traffic and time to bring their patients to the emergency room. The time it takes to deliver a patient could mean the difference between life and death, depending on the severity of their health issue. 

EMTs in an ambulance can also use virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to treat patients. Doctors miles away in a hospital will be able to tune into the scene in an ambulance to offer treatment guidance and understand the situation before EMS arrives at the hospital. There is some controversy surrounding the use of 5G-enabled ambulances. It may take some time for EMTs to gain the general public's trust.

With these advanced technologies making it possible to deliver top-quality care to patients, it's evident that the healthcare industry is on the brink of transformation.

5G-Enabled Tech Will Change Healthcare

As 5G technology continues to develop, more healthcare applications will arise. Using this new technology to improve patient care and the system overall will be something to look out for in the future. Soon enough, healthcare will be made more accessible with the use of 5G technology.

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