Even though 5G technology is somewhat associated with telecommunications, emerging use cases across various industries have completely blurred the lines.

In South Korea, Korean Telco (KT) and Samsung announced that they had tested several medical applications and services driven by KT’s 5G. The new 5G medical services were tested in Samsung Medical Center in Seoul. When it comes to medical services, access to real-time information and a wide range of data are the two most important requirements. Be it for diagnosis, treatment, or prescription, the amount of information and data available to the doctor or physician can determine whether a patient lives or dies. Regardless of the intended purpose of any technology, saving lives supersedes any other use cases. This is the foundation of the KT-Samsung collaboration, where KT’s 5G is combined with Samsung’s state-of-art medical facility, equipment, and expertise in the field to save lives.

 

A doctor demonstrating intricate brain surgery remotely with robotics connected via 5G.

 

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the companies, they tested several applications, including 5G surgery guidance. This application consists of a 5G-enabled Sync CAM worn by a surgeon during surgery and live-stream the procedure to relevant parties. 5G surgery guidance offers several benefits. Firstly, doctors and surgeons from across the world can be granted access to watch live surgery and increase their knowledge. Secondly, experienced and skilled surgeons in complex surgeries can be called in to monitor surgery without even being anywhere near the hospital. With two-way real-time communication along with live-streamed video via high-speed 5G, the best surgeon in a specific field can be invited to monitor, guide, or assist the attending surgeon in real-time from the other side of the world.

 

Remote surgery with precision and low latency is possible with faster 5G networks.

 

They also tested a 5G-enabled application for proton treatment information inquiry and 5G digital pathology diagnosis. The first application enables doctors to conduct real-time checkups for patients undergoing proton therapy. Once the checkup is completed, it is uploaded into the hospital network and relayed to relevant departments and other doctors providing feedback and additional data and information vital for diagnosis in real-time. This section is facilitated by the 5G digital pathology diagnosis application.

Some of the applications tested combine 5G with AI and Machine Learning; for example, 5G and AI were combined to create and test AI Smart Care application. Subsequently, 5G and ML were combined in the development of autonomous driving robots that are designed to offer assistance in operating rooms within the hospital.

Apart from medical benefits, KT installed a RAN-based 5G network at Samsung Medical Center, which reduced the cost of several operation-critical procedures, said Jang Kee-taek, Chair of the Department of Pathology and Translational Genomics. Also, the network lower operation costs by eliminating the need to build wired internet infrastructure, which is not only expensive to build but also very costly to use for daily operations.

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