Chinese network equipment maker ZTE and network operator China Telecom are currently working together to facilitate the first remote diagnosis of the deadly coronavirus.
The virus has infected at least 2,700 people, and caused at least 80 deaths in China since December 2019. Therefore, the ability to remotely diagnose those who are infected will enable the Chinese government to better control the virus, and reduce fatalities caused by the disease.
Global telemedicine market
To achieve this ZTE has installed indoor and outdoor 5G networking and communications equipment at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. The equipment is able to create a reliable 5G network to support remote video consultation.
ZTE plans to expand the system to enable remote diagnostics in other hospitals around the country. And by using 5G to connect doctors with patients it plans to minimize the risks associated with treating deadly diseases, and whilst lowering the risk of infection.
For example, the high quality low-latency video will give doctors a clear view of the patient without being put in harm’s way, and patients in rural locations can still get the treatment and diagnosis that they need.
The impressive high bandwidths for 5G will also allow multiple patients to seek help at the same time. For example, the network ZTE is building for the Lei Shen Shan Hospital in Wuhan can allow an estimated 25,000 people to communicate with each other at the same time.
Telecoms are set to benefit hugely from the recent boom in the telehealth industry, with 5G use cases such as this only set to increase. The global telemedicine market is predicted to reach over $130 billion by 2025 (opens in new tab), and 5G will be a huge enabler for this industry, as 5G technology can power virtual consultations and remote diagnoses, freeing up more time for doctors, whilst limiting the spread of communicable diseases.