With the continuous development and progress of 5g, how will it affect the intelligent medical industry? What development opportunities will there be?
5g era: speeding up
Standing in the tide of 5g, looking back on the 4G era and 3G era, they are not far away from today. Several mainstream operators launched 3G business in 2008 and 2009 respectively. In 2007, Apple Company of the United States launched smart phones, which provided rich soil for the wide application of 3G, and 3G also created the possibility for various applications of smart phones. It can be said that 3G and smart phones jointly opened the era of mobile Internet.
The commercial use of 4G network began in 2015. Its continuous application has contributed to the era of mobile Internet, created conditions for the explosive application of mobile payment, mobile video, network live broadcast, and many applications in the medical field, such as internet medical video consultation, telemedicine, intelligent mobile ward round, artificial intelligence (AI) assisted diagnosis and virtual reality (VR) medical education And so on. The rapid development of 4G network promotes the upgrading and development of the whole mobile medical industry. However, the 4G era also leaves many problems to be solved, such as the quality of video calls is not high enough, remote calls are intermittent, and the video definition is low. Whether through wechat or other video applications, stable and high-quality call expectations can not be achieved.
4G network is still unable to provide high-quality communication services for dense population. In theory, the 4G network can intelligently support 100000 devices per square kilometer, but in fact, it can support no more than 10000 networking devices. Especially in the dense crowd, the 4G network quality drops rapidly. For example, in the large-scale activity area, the operators need to send out emergency communication vehicles to ensure the network quality. In addition, 4G network lags behind in automatic driving and remote surgery, which can not meet the requirements of low delay. Facing the emerging intelligent devices, such as smart speaker, intelligent sweeping robot, intelligent door lock, intelligent refrigerator, smart home sphygmomanometer and intelligent household blood glucose meter, 4G network has been unable to support so many devices to access the network together.
Compared with the previous generation technology, 5g network with three advantages of high throughput, low delay and Dalian connection has not only made a breakthrough in technology, but also made a breakthrough in the field of human to human communication, extending the scope of communication to the relationship between people and things and things. Miao Wei, Minister of China’s Ministry of industry and information technology, said that 20% of 5g will be used for communication between people, and 80% of 5g will be used for communication between people and objects and between objects.
5g and smart medicine
5g not only connects people, but also people and things, things and things, which brings a lot of enlightenment and development opportunities to the intelligent medical industry. Among them, the more typical applications are remote consultation, remote ultrasound, remote surgery, emergency rescue, remote teaching, remote monitoring, intelligent guidance, mobile medical care, smart park management, AI assisted diagnosis, VR medical education, etc.
5g remote surgery
So far, telesurgery is the most widely reported smart medical technology based on 5g. In most cases, remote surgery is to provide remote surgical support to patients in remote and lack of high-quality medical resources through experienced doctors. However, the real-time requirement of remote surgery is very strict. If the picture shown to the doctor who operates the operation is relatively backward, the doctor’s operation will also lag accordingly, which will cause certain operation accidents.
On March 16, 2019, doctors from Hainan Branch of the PLA General Hospital delivered HD video via 5g network for the first time to implement the operation for more than 3 hours, implanting brain pacemaker for patients with Parkinson’s disease in Beijing General Hospital of Chinese people’s Liberation Army. 5g’s high-speed, wide bandwidth and low delay features effectively ensure the stability, reliability and safety of remote surgery.
5g emergency rescue
5g emergency rescue is also a typical application. For example, the ECG, ultrasound images, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature and other multi-directional vital signs information of patients on the ambulance can be transmitted to the hospital monitoring room in real time and high definition through 5g network. The doctors in the hospital can check the patient’s condition in the ambulance through VR glasses, and guide the doctors in the ambulance to take corresponding emergency measures in combination with the vital signs data transmitted in real time. If the patient is in urgent need of blood transfusion, the UAV Based on 5g network can deliver the blood to the ambulance at the fastest speed through linkage with the blood center, so as to strive for precious time for life rescue.
Combination of 5g and medical wearable equipment and monitoring equipment
The combination of 5g and medical wearable devices and monitoring devices is also expected. With the massive connection of 5g network, thousands or even tens of thousands of medical equipment in the hospital can be connected to the network, which can monitor the signs of patients in real time. The common challenges in hospital, such as timely rescue management of hospitalized patients and avoiding cross infection in hospital, may be effectively improved by 5g wireless real-time monitoring.
At home, the patient’s heart rate, blood glucose, blood pressure, blood oxygen and many other equipment collected indicators can also be connected with cloud based artificial intelligence algorithm or online doctors through 5g. Once the patients have dangerous symptoms, they can get targeted intervention treatment in time. Many chronic and malignant diseases can get timely diagnosis and intervention in the early stage, so as to avoid the huge burden on the families of patients.
Challenges and future of intelligent medical treatment
5g has solved the problem of 4G network era. However, the combination of 5g and smart medical is still in the early stage of development, and the construction of 5g network has not been fully carried out. As of December 2019, there are about 130000 5g base stations built in China, while about 6 million base stations need to be built. According to the current construction speed, it will take 6-7 years for 5g network to cover the whole country. Since the base station construction is not mature, many smart medical applications can not be fully developed, and it is difficult to form scale effect and network effect. If the 5g applications, including smart medical applications, cannot form a scale, the speed of base station construction will be limited for operators who are constantly investing in 5g network construction. Therefore, the 5g based smart medical application and the construction of 5g base station are interdependent.
In short, the application of 5g in real life will continue to be improved with the continuous promotion of the government and industry, forming a breakthrough progress. It is believed that in the near future, 5g will lead the medical field to speed up and move towards a more convenient, accurate and broad intelligent medical era.