Health tech guru backs 5G for major impact


5G Health Association Leipzig University

INTERVIEW: A top researcher into computer-assisted surgery urged major players in the mobile sector to collaborate with the medical industry to thrash out ways to make advanced healthcare procedures over 5G connections a reality.

In an interview with Mobile World Live, professor Thomas Neumuth, Leipzig University’s technical director at its Innovation Centre of Computer Assisted Surgery and spokesperson for the 5G Health Association, highlighted the need for collaboration to drive forward applications such as remote surgery.

Although noting a number of remote health applications would likely be able to use 5G in the short term, such as video consultations and in-pain management, he noted regulation remained a significant barrier for more advanced procedures.

Discussing the prospects of moving deeper into the sector, he noted mobile operators must fully engage with their counterparts in the medical industry and gain at least “a rough understanding of medical device regulations”.

“They need to know the rules,” he added, stating the industry must also prove the quality of 5G in critical settings, in particular showing patients would not be harmed by a loss of connection, or “delay or jitter of data packages”.

“We need to align between the industries,” Neumuth said, adding the medical industry needs “a lot of support and to really work to understand each other’s issues and to cooperate.”

To view the full interview, where he gives a synopsis of current research projects, the prospects for remote surgery and work being undertaken at the 5G Health Association to advance the case for the network technology’s use in the medical sector, click here.