HEALTHCARE & 5G
Q&A with Kris Kline, Principal Network Strategy, Chief Digital Officer, Kaiser Permanente
Q What are the connectivity needs of the health industry today, and how/to what extend are they being catered for?
A Connectivity for healthcare is, at its core, about enhancing and transforming the care delivery process and patient experience. Modern healthcare depends on critical connectivity to a variety of digital records, information exchanges, and real-time communications. To accomplish this with cellular there are four main connectivity factors to consider: speed, latency, density, and coverage. 5G has a great strategy to advance the progression of the first three with a whole range of new technologies included in the latest release, but enterprises will have to wait while they are delivered nationwide incrementally over the next few years. The last factor of coverage, both indoor and outdoor, is already struggling to keep up with the current pace of healthcare and an evergrowing reliance on mobile care workflows. Coverage inside of buildings has always been a challenge with energy-efficient glass and metal construction that attenuate macro RF and deploying distributed antenna systems are cost prohibitive in most cases. Coverage outside of buildings continues to be problematic away from urban areas that with improved cellular access could benefit greatly with immersive remote healthcare.
Q What are your suggestions for overcoming these challenges?
A Understanding the release timing of 5G is essential to define a strategy that leverages new features both when and where they are available. Partnering with cellular providers on their 5G feature and service rollout plans will define the timing of the strategy.
Proactive enterprises will work closely with their providers to define, quantify, and prioritise the 5G benefits to accelerate deployments
Q In your opinion, how is 5G going to be transformative for the health care?
A Each of the tech advancement areas of 5G have potential healthcare transformation opportunities:
- More Bandwidth and Lower latencies – adding immersive and real-time capabilities to home health, remote monitoring, remote care delivery, specialised care, remote health vehicles, as well as fixed wireless options for every building type
- Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed reality – imaging visualisation, training, and real-time telemetry for first responders • Advanced Automation – remote robot and robot-assisted surgeries, drones for transportation, rescue, and first aid
- Data Analysis, Edge Computing, and Cloud Computing – Health care data acquisition and correlation, thresholding/alerting, predictive/prescriptive analytics, and augmented intelligence
- Densified Coverage – supporting many more clients, sensors, and wearables than ever before
- High-speed Mobility With Access to Mission Critical Applications – enabling new urgent care workflows with mobile doctor consults and mobile EMR acc