What Will 5G Mean for Healthcare?

Posted on May 29, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The above tweet also included an image, but I decided it was too disturbing to embed on this blog. Yeah, I know that means you all just clicked through to see it. While a bit disturbing, the picture definitely made me stop and ask the question, “What does 5G mean for healthcare?”

I’m not sure how many people have been following 5G, but it’s getting really close to becoming a reality. For those not familiar with the technology, here’s an anecdote that highlights how fast 5G can be “In testing, the transfer speeds for the “5G” network sent data at 1.056 Gbit/s to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.”

1 Gig per second. What would it mean that you could transfer 1 Gig per second wirelessly? Now, I should note that it’s going to take some time for the devices to be able to support these kinds of speeds. Plus, it will also take the applications time to figure out what to do with this type of speed. However, it changes how we think about what we’re streaming completely.

In healthcare, those radiology images that are so big would be nothing to share with anyone anywhere anytime. You could literally have multiple HD cameras filming your healthcare experience live in real time with no issues at that speed. Genomic data is huge, but it could easily be shared with these types of speeds to anyone that needs it anywhere.

This is just the obvious stuff. What’s so incredible about reaching new types of breakthrough speeds like this is that it enables us to discover new opportunities that we couldn’t even think of previously because the speeds made that type of thinking impossible. When you look at the volume of data that sensors will be streaming about our lives, you can see why these speeds could be extremely valuable. Plus, at these speeds, federated data becomes much easier to stomach because you know even large data sources are available with ease.

What do you think of 5G data? How do you think it will impact healthcare? It’s amazing how broadband changed so many things we do online and enabled so many new services. 5G could and likely will do the same.