On our first few episodes of Recalibrate, host Jason Claybrook discussed the impact 5G will have on latency, consumers, gaming, sports and more, breaking it all down with professionals from Samsung Networks. On this episode, Alok Shah of Samsung Networks joined us once again, along with Samsung’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Rhew, to discuss the impact 5G will have on healthcare.

Consumer wearables, telemedicine, and other new technologies have been rapidly adopted by healthcare professionals to help improve patient care and practice efficiencies. With expectations that the global Internet of Things (IoT) healthcare market will reach $410 billion by 2022, the use of connected devices in this sector is accelerating at a rapid pace.

Currently supported by 4G LTE capabilities, these connected devices, such as blood pressure cuffs, are proving to be effective in monitoring and improving patient care. But as technology progresses and more devices become available, doctors will rely more heavily on these instruments to continually capture, collect, and digitally receive vast amounts of patient medical data.

“Health has been an area that has continued to develop over the last decade, and 4G networks have really allowed these hospitals to get substantial data rates on the network. 5G, though, will take it to another level,” said Shah.

With 5G’s massive Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), millions of low-energy, low-bit rate connected medical and health monitoring devices, clinical wearables and remote sensors will eventually enable near real-time monitoring of vital signs, physical activity, and prescription adherence, allowing providers to effectively administer or modify treatment from afar.

“It’s important to take an overall look at trends in healthcare. There’s a big push to enable virtual care. Virtual care allows you to be able to better manage patients outside of the hospital. This oftentimes involves the use of sensors and remote patient monitoring devices,” said Dr. Rhew. “But what we’re moving towards is continuous monitoring. And with continuous monitoring, you have an opportunity to see on a regular basis changes in one’s activity, one’s behavior, one’s physiological parameters, and that is going to require a network that is capable enough to be able to pull the data in in large quantities to be able to do rapid analysis. You’re going to need low-latency times. It’s a perfect situation for 5G to really help enhance the capabilities of what we’re currently trying to do.”

While many challenges lay ahead with 5G implementation, the future of bandwidth will enable a modernizing transformation in the medical profession, empowering far-reaching capabilities such as virtual reality treatments, remote diagnosis, continuous, real-time health monitoring, patient ownership of medical data, and more, providing a holistic view of a patient’s health from any place, at any time.

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