The global healthcare services market is expected to grow from $6872.86 billion in 2021 to $7548.52 billion in 2022. The industry needs ultra-low latency to experience the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT). 5G and edge computing are critical for the care of patients. Sending a request to a data center worldwide and waiting for a response takes time. As a result, traditional cloud computing that takes place on physical hard drives and website servers isn’t ideal for many mission-critical applications.
5G was designed to transport a significant amount of data with low latency, reliability, speed, and bandwidth. The increase of connected devices and data from each device makes it difficult to move information to the cloud. The solution is processing data at the edge, where the data is generated.
The average healthcare company loses $7,900 per minute due to downtime. Besides revenue loss and significant fines for HIPAA noncompliance, the devastating costs for downtime are much higher. It impacts patient safety, reputation, and trust. Downtime can mean the difference between life and death.
The average cost of a healthcare data breach between March 2021 and March 2022 was over 10 million. Cybersecurity is a leading concern for the industry. The increase of connected devices on your network made possible by the Internet of Things increases your cyber risks. By dispersing the processing and storage functions throughout the edge, no single attack will bring down the entire network.
Ransomware is a type of cyber-attack. If a hospital is experiencing a ransomware attack, health care providers will not be able to access electronic health records for hours, days, or sometimes even weeks. With cybersecurity threats on the rise, hospitals need to ensure appropriate measures are in place to mitigate potential threats which will affect their ability to provide uninterrupted care in the event of an attack.
The healthcare industry requires infrastructure to support emerging technologies that enable critical data analytics. The industry relies on such data to treat patients, prevent deaths, and serve a global community. This means a resilient, continuous IT delivery method close to the data delivery point.
The Internet of Things needs 5G and the edge. Let’s look at some specific use cases in the sector.
Monitoring with Wearables
There are a variety of wearables in the market these days, including devices that monitor and track heart rhythm, blood pressure, glucose levels, and daily activity. Wearable technology reduces hospital visits and increases the health of patients.
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) scanners track medical equipment. During emergencies, equipment is moved and not returned to its place. RFID scanners track scales, respiratory machines, diagnostic equipment, laptops, mobile units, and more.
Ingestible sensors are tiny electronic devices the size of a medicine capsule. Patients swallow ingestible sensors to collect information from digestive and other systems, helping diagnose ailments and measure PH levels, temperature, and pressure. Data is immediately available for physicians to monitor and check in on patients.
Robotics-assisted surgery allows doctors to perform less invasive surgeries with smaller incisions, more precision, and increased flexibility. The most common robotic surgery utilizes a camera arm with surgical instruments attached. The surgeon performs the surgery at a computer console with a magnified 3D view.
5G is spearheading a monumental transformation in healthcare. The bandwidth and ultra-low latency of 5G connectivity coupled with edge computing fuel innovative technologies to improve patient care, reconfigure how medical professionals receive information, and create solid methodologies within the sector. Data between people and devices can be shared faster and more efficiently, which affects crucial decisions. IoT-connected devices enable healthcare professionals to automatically gather data, reduce errors, and refine treatments — overall enhancing the quality of care.
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