The Rennes University Hospital in France recently conducted a video transmission experiment using a 5G network, Inside Towers reports. The hospital simulated a surgical intervention in a wireless operating room through a collaboration with AMA, bcom, Nokia, Orange and Philips.
The experiment itself had cardiologist and Rennes University Hospital professor Erwan Donal perform heart surgery on a model while Dr. Alexandos Stefanidis followed the procedure remotely in Athens, Greece. Doctors often require medical advice or help from a remote expert, but current telecommunication networks can’t send medical imaging data in real time without compromising its quality, Archworldys reports. However, operating on a 5G network at 26 GHz allowed data to be sent in real time without losing quality with high throughput and low latency.
By using a private 5G network at 26 GHz, the hospital avoided any lag time in the superposition of the ultrasound images and X-ray radiographs through an augmented reality application. The challenge the hospital faced was creating a perfect synchronization of the images to improve the physicians’ operational performance. Any lag time would risk creating a lag in space of the doctor’s movements.
To combat this, Rennes University Hospital also used multiple wireless video streams, an ultrasound scanner and a fixed HD camera that transmitted an augmented reality app. An additional stream connected Dr. Donal’s glasses in the operating room to Dr. Stefanidis’ computer.
“Medical interventions are increasingly complex and require the use of multiple medical imaging devices,” Donal said. “The use of 5G within the block is a promise to remove cables while maintaining fast and secure signal transmission.”
The 5G-enhanced surgery’s success has encouraged teams at Rennes University Hospital and its collaborators to do additional experiments, according to Archworldys. The next challenge they’ll face is finding a better way to adapt various video streams to the capabilities that 5G offers, in order to obtain even better image quality.
“Medical procedures are becoming increasingly complex and require the use of multiple medical imaging devices,” Donal said. “The presence of connecting cables constitutes a risk to the movements of the personnel and their ability to focus on what they’re doing. They also prevent equipment from being transferred easily from one room to another.”
“The use of 5G in healthcare will improve access to care and medical expertise throughout the country by providing the means for better healthcare assistance: from health monitoring for prevention and early detection, to the diagnosis and intervention phases in the ambulance in the event of an incident,” added Dr. Tarik Cherfaoui, deputy head of the Adult Emergency Services department at Rennes University Hospital.