YARMOUTH, Maine – Fifth generation wireless, or 5G, is expected to arrive this year and, according to industry experts, it will have a major impact on home health care.
“With 5G, you have the ability to process things more quickly,” explained Matt Branda, director of technology marketing at Qualcomm Life. “We’ll be taking this existing technology that was designed for smartphones and stretching it for new uses and industries, including health care.”
5G will enable a greater ability to continuously gather patient-specific data, then process, analyze and quickly return insights and recommended courses of action to the patient, according to a paper on 5G’s impact on health care that was supported and released recently by Qualcomm Life
“This will give patients greater ability to manage conditions on their own,” wrote David Teece of the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.
Teece concluded that 5G will impact, for example, areas in health care like continuous monitoring, predictive analytics, remote diagnosis and imaging.
“5G will be an enabler of many new business models, but also a disrupter of old ones, and will be a substantial enabler of a new era of personalized health care,” he wrote.
More cellular bandwidth will allow for more data transmission and that will be a huge advantage for those who provide care remotely, said Liddy Manson, executive director of the Aging Well Hub at Georgetown University’s Social Enterprise Initiative. She believes that the easier it is for home care workers to collect data and provide health updates back to care managers and medical practices, the better the care and interventions will be.
“An increasing problem with providing home-based disease management is that home connectivity can frequently and significantly lag the bandwidth assumptions driving technology development,” she said. “So great telehealth technology exists, but some residents don’t have the bandwidth and infrastructure required to run that technology in their homes.”