AI, 5G and the cloud are on the cusp of transforming the healthcare sector, according to Rasheed Al Omari, Principal Business Solutions Strategist, SEMEA, VMware
Healthcare providers need to be at the leading edge when it comes to using technology, and this applies to just about every aspect of the healthcare industry, where we see a clear trend of providers adopting Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC).
Emerging technologies like Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Extended Reality (XR) and quantum computing are now having an impact and increasing their fluence in healthcare.
For example, AI and Machine Learning are used to find patterns and genomes responsible for diseases and find potential cures. Both technologies can increase the accuracy of these endeavours while also dramatically increasing the speed at which gene sequencing is achieved.
Internet of Things technology, combined with Big Data and the superior speed, capacity and resilience of 5G, is also transforming healthcare. We will increasingly see IoT used in sensors and wearable technology in healthcare. An array of life-saving and life-enhancing implants are able to communicate with – and feed data back to – healthcare professionals, generating a valuable pool of data that can be used to improve these healthcare solutions and patient outcomes further.
Clinicians, technicians and staff are now able to benefit from secure and ‘always on’ access to patient information and records, on the right device, for the right task at the right time. This is vital in improving patient outcomes and satisfaction, especially in emergency situations, while also increasing overall efficiency for healthcare providers.
It’s worth mentioning that the UAE has taken an early lead with 5G and I expect it to be a game-changer in the region’s healthcare sector as its capacity and speed are unprecedented. 5G has the capacity to allow 10,000 times the volume of traffic on the network compared to 4G and can provide peak capacity of 10 Gigabytes per second. This will allow it to power a raft of healthcare applications, including the ability for surgeons to carry out operations remotely by controlling robots and viewing the patient in ultra HD, and potentially even in a Virtual Reality environment, giving a full 3D view of the patient. This would allow a specialist surgeon in one part of the world to operate on a patient in another country or even continent.
However, all of these innovations require a secure digital foundation to ensure the complex infrastructure, devices and software are able to work securely, reliably, and in unison, for the benefit of healthcare providers and patients.