With each generation of wireless mobile technology; 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G comes 5G, which is the fifth-generation mobile network. 5G speeds, data transfer rates are mainly expressed in kilobits, megabits, and in the coming times even in gigabits or terabits. The speed of 5G is measured as 3 gigabits per second. In the future, the 5G speed is expected to reach up to 10 gigabits under ideal conditions, which is a 20-fold rise. 5G is 100 times faster than 4G, creating brand new opportunities for people and businesses.ÿÿÿÿÿÿ
The usage of 5G has demonstrated wide application and advancement across industries and one such industry deemed to be revolutionary is healthcare. 5G is expected to be used in the healthcare industry to transform unsustainable healthcare systems into sustainable ones, provide faster and cheaper solutions for diseases, and equalize the relationship between patients and medical professionals. The future of the medical field lies in working together with the technologies for staying more relevant in the coming years.
The healthcare sector's technological transformation offers telecom operators countless opportunities to pierce new value chains and introduce partnerships that benefit the whole ecosystem. Artificial intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality are some of the technologies that have been demonstrated in the medical field.ÿ Real-time remote monitoring, sensor innovation, IoT applications are some revolutionary usages of 5G in the healthcare. These technologies help the patients to stay better connected to the doctors and other healthcare providers virtually. Low latency, high bandwidth, capacity, reliability, mobility, battery life is some of the capabilities of 5G that will impact the healthcare sectors. "Telesurgery" is a technique in which specialists can perform surgery from a distant location, but this technique is unrealistic for mainstream use. There is a more realistic way to use a 5G enabled AR/VR headset that allows experienced specialists to watch and guide the in-person surgeon. The high-quality 5G connectivity can enhance the collaboration between medical professionals by improving diagnosis and patient care. These secure online consultations, wearable devices, robotic surgery, and such enhance resource efficiency and meet consumer demands. In the olden days, people require to travel to a doctor or hospital in case of medical emergencies, and that was challenging and time-consuming; however, with remote monitoring, people can receive medical attention and care from the comfort of homes. Telemedicine is one of the rising trends in the industry, which is expected to grow at a rate of 16.5% from the year 2017-2023, and with the help of 5G, healthcare systems can enable mobile networks to manage telemedicine appointments which hugely increase the reach of the program. A huge amount of data is generated even from a single patient, and a high-speed 5G network to the present architectures can help speedily and reliably the movement of vast data files of medical imagery. During the time of the pandemic, the use of 5G in healthcare is beneficial as they promise to provide essential levels of connectivity. "Connected ambulances" is another idea that can only be implemented with 5G's capabilities. Similarly, push to talk is an IoT device that aims to lessen isolation by connecting people living in similar situations or environments through 5G.
The 5G delivers stronger and more detailed three-dimensional images of a patient's anatomy, and the resolution is consistent and clear, which helps in giving reliable means of delivering telesurgery services to experts around the globe. Artificial Intelligence is incorporated into hospital management and operations, which involves patient registration and triage, health-record organization, diagnosis aid, transportation of operating room supplies, digital payment. 5G in association with AI helps in decision-making due to the vast information available instantaneously; such faster decision-making became really helpful during the early stages of the pandemic when public panic caused a surge of patients into hospitals. The aging population hugely demands home healthcare as it is much more comfortable to recover in the contentment of home; it also reduces the safety concerns as an elderly individual living alone. In order to lessen the healthcare cost, hospitals try to discharge patients like those who are recovering from heart attacks as immediately as possible once their condition is stabilized. Following the discharge, hospitals can remotely monitor the patient's health conditions using wireless technology. There are numerous smart cities that have been using such technologies. In some of these smart cities, after an ambulance picks up a patient who is in need of urgent care, the nearby hospital gets informed automatically about the condition of the patient and also the estimated arrival time. The 5G technology has the potential to allow another wave of smart devices, which is always connected and communicating to provide faster and more personalized services. The covid-19 pandemic enormously increased the demand and availability of telehealth possibilities for patients. 5G could pave the way for wireless MRI and X-ray. 5G will be the base of new generation robots capable of functioning wirelessly and exploiting the huge data are stored on the cloud. 5G is a game-changing technology that, when implemented completely, will help support better hospital operations and deliver the highest quality patient and staff experience. Telemedicine has benefits for patients like reduced wait times, no travel to the specialist, less time away from work, decreased chances of cross-exposure for patients, and healthcare professionals such as reduced costs, reduced canceled appointments, and improved efficiency allowing professionals to see more patients. Robotic surgeries are already happening today. The RAN virtualization and distributed cloud assure low end-to-end latency. Current consumer-grade wearables are mainly used for preventive measures and could be used only if high-frequency updates are available from a central repository. Patients can get access to medical records, which helps them manage the efficiency and quality of their care.ÿÿ
At the same time, there are several disadvantages for 5G network like 5G does not work on all phones, more expensive subscription costs, uneven coverage, replaces battery capacity for speed. The speed of the technology they are claiming is challenging due to the inadequate technological support in many parts of the world. The radio frequencies can become a problem. The 5G waves can only travel in a straight line and a shorter distance; the obstacles like trees, walls, and buildings will disturb the high-frequency signals. The implementation, infrastructure, and maintenance schedules of 5G won't be inexpensive, and consumers need to pay much of this cost. Cybersecurity is another concern as many companies and people have a mass of data and sensitive information to lose with 5G implementation, resulting in higher risks for patients like medical identity theft, data mismanagement, and health privacy concerns. The inequality of access occurs as 5G access is mainly available for urban patients rather than for rural patients. Addressing these concerns will be a major obstacle in world trying to achieve universal healthcare.