5G technology has been long-awaited, as it promises to revolutionize the way we communicate. This happens due to the speed with which data travels through this technology, and this should also influence the health market, where the internet connection has been increasingly used to carry out various activities.
The year 2021 was crucial for the acceleration of 5G, and its kick-off took place at the end of 2018. According to data from the report "The State of 5G", in April 2022, the number of 1,947 cities with 5G networks worldwide was reached, and by the end of January 2022, 72 countries had come into operation to benefit from the technology.
Not surprisingly, the two largest economies in the world, The United States and China are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States has 296. The Philippines remained in third place, globally speaking, with a total of 98 5G cities.
Before we continue, we need to ask: Do you already know our system Ninsaúde Apolo for health clinics? The health software Ninsaúde Apolo has an agile and complete schedule, personalized electronic medical records for each specialty, and with legal validity, teleconsultation, financial control, and much more. Schedule a demo or try the Ninsaúde Apolo clinic's software right now!
Having its implementation in Brazil in July 2022, 5G is taking over the country little by little, given that of the more than 5,500 Brazilian municipalities, only 160 adapted their laws to receive the technology. The fact is, with the internet up to 20 times faster, many sectors will benefit from this advance, including the healthcare market. Check out some advantages that we will be able to enjoy with the use of 5G.
Despite all the suffering resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, at least one advantage in all of this we can highlight is the use of telemedicine/telehealth that is here to stay. Before the pandemic, telemedicine was only legal in a few countries and only in very specific cases. Today, however, doctors from different parts of the world, including Brazil (before the pandemic could not use this tool legally), enjoy the benefits of remote care. And not only doctors have this as an advantage, but patients themselves, since often traveling to a clinic becomes difficult.
The fact is that, with the advancement of technology and the arrival of 5G, telehealth becomes an even more competent tool in what it proposes to do. As you already know, in a teleservice, patients and health professionals exchange information at a distance. This means that the patient can be at home and the doctor in the clinic, and there is a service. For this, there must be an internet connection, and this connection must be stable and with high speed, so that the service can flow without unnecessary interruptions.
For those who still don't use this tool, let's explain it quickly: first, to use telemedicine you need a secure system so that your patient's information doesn't leak, given that there are data protection laws and medical confidentiality. Ninsaúde Apolo is a great example of a system that has telemedicine integrated and complies with the HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. When accessing telemedicine, the health professional enters into a kind of video call with the patient, and if the internet connection of one of the parties is failing, the teleconsultation does not go as expected.
In this sense, 5G will bring more stability during online connections, thus avoiding not only the loss of information but also a waste of time, of course. After all, imagine how annoying it would be to have to restart devices or call a technician during an appointment because the connection is failing. With a faster connection and no instabilities, this will no longer be a problem.
Telemedicine has become essential in many cases, and one of them concerns patients residing in rural areas without access to the local hospital. These regions tend to have a poorer internet connection, with a weak signal and full of instabilities. With the arrival of 5G in places of this type, the connection between patients and healthcare professionals will be significantly improved, also improving the health of many people who have difficulties finding a doctor close to their homes.
Security when entering and saving data
The management software for clinics has gained notoriety, and those who still use paper forms in their consultations, besides being considered old-fashioned (which is not a problem), are liable to have other complications, which are directly linked to the security of patient data. For this reason, using medical software is essential, and the best systems on the market are cloud software, therefore it is necessary to have a good internet connection to use them.
Anyone who already uses a system for clinics knows that when entering information, she needs to be saved. If the internet connection is failing, this action may be impaired, everything he writes in the patient's evolution is automatically saved every 2 seconds, and can also be manually saved by the professional himself, using the Save button. However, if the internet is unstable, the system may not behave as expected. Based on this, we can say that 5G will bring more security when saving data, allowing an internet connection with fewer failures.
Uploading and accessing images
In many cases, it is necessary to attach files, whether from digitized exams or images that record the evolution of treatment. In the Ninsaúde Apolo system for clinics, the health professional can upload files while attending to the patient or at other times, accessing their registration form. Currently, Ninsaúde Apolo has two methods of inserting files, wherein one of them the files is in the Google Drive cloud, and the other, they are inserted directly into the Apollo system cloud.
Depending on the size of the file, the upload may take a little time. It is even possible to insert several images simultaneously, which can make the process even slower. The fact is, the better your internet connection, the faster the file upload will be completed, therefore with 5G, this will also be an improvement perceived by healthcare professionals.
When it comes to patient files, we should not only be concerned with inserting these files into the system, but also with accessing them. Because it is a file that is saved in the cloud, if your internet is very slow, there may be a slowness when opening this file. On certain occasions during medical care, agility is necessary, especially when you need to analyze the patient's situation through a file. Therefore, the fast connection of 5G will also benefit in this regard.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented reality can have many applications in healthcare, from remote monitoring to surgeries, thanks to 5G. Using AR in a 4G environment is fraught with slowness, which leads to motion sickness for a long time, as there is an incompatibility between visual recognition and brain processing. The increased performance, transmission capacity, and reliability of 5G networks overcome these limitations.
An example of AR in healthcare is Vodafone's HoloLens AR glasses, which help paramedics check medical records and access critical information about patient handling and treatment. Therefore, if the patient is a pregnant mother in labor, AR glasses provide ambulance staff with information such as the right questions to ask and steps to take on the way to the hospital.
In addition, therapies for treating neurological and mental health conditions could be enhanced with virtual reality and augmented reality. With a slow or unstable internet, using this tool would never be possible, however, with the arrival of 5G what we have is another reality.
Home Care Service
When we talk about Home Care, it is important to know that there are different forms of assistance, and resources such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, nutritionist, and intravenous or intramuscular medication, in addition to monitoring and medical and nursing care. Therefore, all patient care must be recorded in the patient's medical record.
The advantage of using online software in these cases is that with the health professional meets the patient, he must have the attendance history in hand. With the electronic medical record, the professional will have access not only to the patient's evolution history but also to attached files, among other data present in their registration form.
Using online software, it is possible to access patient data through a tablet or smartphone, eliminating the need for larger equipment. In this way, the only need that the health professional will have is to have fast access to the internet with a good connection. Taking into account that there are patients who live in rural areas or where the internet signal is weaker, 5G meets this need for an improved connection. So that the work of the health professional is not interrupted, in these moments the use of fast internet is more than necessary.
5G Remote Surgery
Except for the largest multispecialty hospitals in metropolitan cities, most hospitals are not equipped with experienced surgeons for every niche. In these cases, field doctors consult with experts using video and audio. However, 5G connectivity can take things a step further, transmitting real-time information from an ongoing surgery to specialists as they advise the surgical team during the operation. For example, surgical microscopes with 4K screens can transmit high-quality images to consulting surgeons, in addition to broadcasting the entire surgery live with audio. Armed with this data, consulting experts can provide better oversight and guidance.
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