NHS ambulance trusts will be trialling the use of 5G-enabled video streaming systems to help hospital-based doctors make lifesaving decisions by watching live footage, helping to reduce patient turnaround time when they arrive at hospital… and thus relieving some of the pressure on overstretched accident and emergency departments throughout the country.
The system is being developed by Kingston University and Internet of Things (IoT) company Pangea Connected, designed to provide direct links between ambulances and hospital teams.
The project is being part-funded by the government and will see experts from the university, as well as those from Pangea, research and develop 5G applications for ambulance use, as well as looking into the techniques for developing 5G enabled body cameras for police forces in order to speed up crime scene assessment.
Professor of Wireless Communications, Christos Politis, an expert in wireless network research, had this to say about the project: “Alongside speed increases which will rival those delivered by optical fibre, 5G will incorporate IoT technology, which opens up so many possibilities for the health sector and across the emergency services through the use of smart devices.
“The idea is to give doctors and surgeons a virtual environment to see what they are dealing with in real time. It could help with triaging care or even allow medics to advise ambulance crews on treatment, improving chances of survival in life or death cases. It would mean medical teams know exactly what they are dealing with when the patient arrives at hospital, which would be a real game changer.”
The introduction of 5G will see a huge increase in the level of connectivity in industries like healthcare, education and our emergency services, with the latter already looking to the likes of drones and robots to help them drive down delays and ensure that resource deployment is done in the safest manner possible.
Writing for Silicon Republic, Lindsay Notwell of Cradlepoint explained that the likes of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are testing drones in real-life search and rescue scenarios, while Devon and Cornwall Police recently launched a 24-hour drone unit to help find missing people.
Looking to the future, 5G will be able to operate real-time feedback loops to help drones operate remotely and deliver equipment, medicine and food, and so on, to disaster locations, no matter where they are.
IoT sensors are already being used to alert police officers as soon as a firearm is discharged, while in the future devices will be able to help police identify where a suspect was, what they were doing and who they were with. 5G will also be able to cross-reference large audio and high-res video files and reports to identify certain patterns and behaviours, for use by other agencies.
This all means that public safety agencies will be able to respond faster and more effectively than they’ve ever been able to do in the past.
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