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HEALTHCARE & 5G

Q&A with Sam Shah, Global Digital Health Advisor & Clinical Director, The Ivory Clinic


Q What are the connectivity needs of the health industry today, and how/to what extend are they being catered for? 

A The health industry today has an increasing need for data, advances such as remote monitoring, more complex medical imagining and increasing use of online consultations results in rapidly increasing connectivity demands. However, this new demand does result in significant burden on networks and associated hardware which can often result in delays. For the workforce this can be quite frustrating, however it also reduces the ability to adopt new technology that may place even greater demands on networks.


Q What needs to be done for those needs to be met? 

A The time lag experienced by the workforce is often due to a combination of factors and will everything from local validation rules through to hardware and network infrastructure. It’s unlikely that the user will be able to diagnose which element needs to be addressed and typically the solution is multifaceted.

Q What are the health industry’s expectations of 5G? Is this going to transform the market?/In your opinion, how is 5G going to be transformative for businesses in the health industry? 

A Healthcare will be making increasing use of telehealth over the next few years, consumer behaviour indicates that the telehealth market will grow. However the quality of online consultations will also need to increase in terms of lag and video quality which where 5G is likely to have a role. 5G also has the potential to change the model of care, for example through the use of Virtual Reality.


Q What do you expect the 5G adoption challenges in the health industry will be and how do you believe they can be overcome? 

A 5G offers two major advantages, low latency and high bandwidth. Inevitably as the technology is introduced, and as it tackles real challenges, there will be demand from patients and clinicians. The challenge is addressing the complex regulatory environment and dealing with the blend of legacy devices whilst introducing new technology which can also be costly. Some of today’s restrictions will also disappear so image files may increase in size as restrictions of the past disappear. It will be possible to overcome the range of challenges but this requires a partnership approach between industry and the health sector.

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