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Experts demystify role of 5G in combating Covid-19 – VIDEO

Tech experts have restated the critical role that 5G network is playing in the battle against coronavirus saying it facilitates fast and flexible connectivity to secure remote diagnostics and treatment.

Huawei’s president of Carrier BG Marketing and Solution Sales Peng Song, speaking in a 5G online summit in Shenzen, China last week, reiterated the importance of technology in fighting Covid-19.

He called on Information and Technology companies to stay together in rolling out the fifth-generation (5G) network and combating Covid-19.

“5G provides us with a more flexible option and a faster connection to get you online. (It) allows us to make full use of experts and medical resources in different regions. 5G+ and AI enable the application of drones and robots to reduce the workload of doctors and nurses,” Song said.

According to Huawei, Covid-19 has affected everyone and is still spreading, and a digital response to the pandemic can take multiple forms and bring significant value.

The summit noted that tech companies are taking measures to confront the Covid-19 crisis and 5G is vital for both social health and economic performance.

Huawei said technology has been a critical tool in fighting Covid-19 in many parts of the world. In Africa, for instance, Global Epidemic Prevention Platform (GEPP) released by Korea Telecom at the end of 2019 is helping to track people who came into contact with a carrier of the coronavirus. The technology has already been rolled out in Kenya and Ghana.

The summit was graced by guests and speakers who were confident that besides 5G’s immense contribution in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 crisis, it proved a vital technology for both social health and economic performance.

The summit’s keynote speaker, Shaun Collins, CEO, CCS Insight stressed that owing to 5G’s lower latency and higher capacity in improving lives, the technology emerges as a cornerstone in efforts towards ensuring early diagnosis and treatment of patients.

For instance, with 5G, people in remote locations do not need to worry since doctors located several miles away can seamlessly attend to them, Collins said referring to a case study from the University Hospital in Birmingham and the South Central Ambulance Service, which pre-dates the onset of Covid-19.

While sharing insights that prompted the government of China and the telecommunications fraternity to aggressively invest and embark on telecommuting, Dr Su Yu, Deputy Dean of China Mobile Chengdu Industrial Research Institute, said remote workforce using 5G technology, established ways to shorten decision-making that once took hours and days to resolve.

“The ability for healthcare to be agile and embrace technology, demonstrated that capacity was available to reverse the harsh realities, deploy fast changes and make things better,” said Yu.

At the event, Huawei released a white paper, Technology against Pandemic: Insights and Practice on Telecom Networks.

The paper explains the role telecommunications networks have played in the fight against the pandemic, and in helping people to move vital activities online, such as education, shopping and remote working.

It also explains global operators’ best practices for overcoming the pandemic using 5G, AI, fibre 10G PON, and other advanced technologies.

It also discusses the need to build and upgrade public health emergency response mechanisms. Governments can then take advantage of the development to make informed decisions in a timely manner and allocate resources more effectively.

“In this regard, 5G can also promote collaboration by enabling connectivity, maintaining effective communication among hospitals, and enable medical data and reference sharing between hospitals and scientific research institutions, especially ‘in the rapid increases in data volume and mounting demand for remote and HD-video based treatment’ scenario,” reads a statement from Huawei.

It is safe to assume that with 5G along with the confluence of other emerging technologies – such as the Internet of Things, big data, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, the healthcare industry will change drastically as these technologies are used to augment human capacity and enhance the effectiveness of human potential.

In the near future, 5G technology, when it is available to more people, will enable novel healthcare applications as seen with Covid-19, while facilitating ad hoc orchestration of healthcare services by integrating patients, medical practitioners, and social workers through its enhanced connectivity capabilities.

“This year, global digital transformation will accelerate, meaning both opportunities and challenges for telecom operators and industries. To address these opportunities and challenges, operators must aim for more resilient, automated, and intelligent target networks, and their annual network plans and activities should be geared towards achieving these goals” Song added.

Seeing as rolling out of the 5G comes at a time of global health pandemic, Covid-19, he said the new technology should help deliver medical resources quickly and efficiently.

According to Song, 5G provides the world with a more flexible option and a faster connection to get online. It also allows users to make full use of experts and medical resources in different regions.

5G+ and AI enable the use of drones and robots to reduce the workload of doctors and nurses.

In China, ambulances fitted with 5G-enabled communication technology have enabled nurses to tend to Covid-19 patients aiding in treatment.

Through the process of mixed reality, the clinician is given a real-time view of what is going on with the patient in the ambulance, allowing the paramedic to be guided if critical intervention is required.

Under the Lifelines Project under which critically ill patients who are unable to receive visitors are equipped with 4G-enabled tablets to connect and communicate with family but they can be doing much more of this going forward in terms of the network with 5G.