Verizon has turned up its 5G service at a healthcare lab in Atlanta, partnering with Emory Healthcare in a move to develop and test 5G use cases in the medical field. The carrier is providing 5G coverage at Emory’s Healthcare Innovation Hub (EHIH), which it says is the “nation’s first 5G healthcare innovation lab.”
Healthcare is seen as one of the verticals which could significantly benefit from high-capacity, low-latency 5G, with its reliance on high-resolution imaging and other large data files, and a system of patients and caregivers moving throughout medical buildings and campuses but requiring consistent access to care and information. Telehealth and even remote surgery are also frequently cited potential use cases for 5G. Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business Group, spoke of the possibility of using 5G so that doctors could “do things like create holographic 3D anatomical renderings that can be studied from every angle and even projected onto the body in the OR to help guide surgery.”
EHIH is a program that focuses on improving patient care and providers’ experience and trying to solve problems facing the health care industry. 5G, Verizon said, has “the potential to help redefine patient care with real-time data analytics, giving researchers the ability to explore solutions such as connected ambulances, remote physical therapy and next-generation medical imaging. EHIH will be able to test how 5G could enhance augmented and virtual reality applications for medical training, enable telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, and provide point of care diagnostic and imaging systems from the ambulance to the ER.”
This is the first 5G lab that Verizon has set up on-premises for a customer; it has a network of five 5G labs in the U.S. and one recently announced in London, where it focuses on 5G use case development and testing for verticals including public safety and entertainment. The carrier said that 5G at EHIH “will be part of an ongoing initiative to co-develop 5G-related use cases to help customers transform their industries.”
Verizon also said that in addition to providing 5G connectivity for EHIH, it will also offer network and security services, project management, professional In addition to providing EHIH with 5G, Verizon will offer network and security services, managed infrastructure, project management and professional consulting services—and it will have a seat on the Emory Hub executive advisory board.
Verizon isn’t the only one seeking to enable 5G in healthcare. In January 2019, AT&T announced a partnership with the Rush System for Health network and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to equip the hospital with 5G and multi-access edge computing. In Korea, KT has built an enterprise-dedicated 5G network at Samsung Medical Center, which includes 5G-powered digital pathology analysis.
“The healthcare industry, driven by value-based care and increased consumerization, is set for a paradigm shift that will put a much greater focus on connectivity and access to data,” said Scott Boden, MD, VP for business innovation for Emory Healthcare. “Across every facet of healthcare, from care innovation to reimbursement model transformation to decentralization of care, speed to data is critical to the digital evolution of health.”
The lab ribbon-cutting will be held this Friday.