As healthcare providers embrace telehealth alternatives to office visits, what’s technology’s role in driving a full-scale rollout and improving access to patient care? Powerful players in the healthcare industry have turned their attention to wireless network infrastructure in recent years, arguing that connectivity has become integral to healthcare access. The same limitation that makes an internet connection feel slower when trying to download data-heavy files or when multiple users are working on the same network presents a hurdle for burgeoning medical practices like physician-to-physician consultations, at-home monitoring and video-based telemedicine.
The American Medical Association has adopted a policy to advocate for expanded broadband and wireless internet access across underserved areas throughout the United States. Lack of internet access or poor service in these regions has hindered the availability of emerging digital health services, such as telemedicine, according to the AMA.
The main benefits of fifth-generation networks are:
- significantly higher speeds of up to 3 Gbps — with some estimates predicting that 5G bandwidth may reach 20 Gbps
- extremely low latency with less than 1 millisecond
How do these features result in healthcare benefits? Let’s have a look…
- Expanding telemedicine
According to a study by Market Research Future, the telemedicine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.5% from 2017 to 2023 due to demand in rural areas for healthcare, as well as a rise in government initiatives. Telemedicine requires a network that can support real-time high-quality video, which often means wired networks. With 5G, healthcare systems can enable mobile networks to handle telemedicine appointments, which can greatly increase the reach of the program. When healthcare systems utilize this technology, patients can often get treated sooner and have access to specialists otherwise not available and now to a greater extent in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can also allow doctors and other staff members to collaborate more efficiently. Video conferencing, secure chatting, automated messages using AI technology with patients for remote patient care can be made smooth with 5g networks. This benefits solutions like the HIPAA compliant HiLiteMD Telehealth and video messaging platform.
2. Quickly transmitting large imaging and video files
The best form of patient engagement is using the power of video messages. Using HiLiteMD, providers, staff, care teams can record videos and send it to patients on demand. The messaging can be personalized with follow-up instructions to a patient, outreach information for a flu clinic, even simple things like telling the patient the provider is running late or that they are overdue on an outstanding balance. In addition, HiLiteMD has more than 2,000 award-winning pre-recorded patient education videos that are voiced in English and Spanish with closed captioning. We have the latest advancement for recorded video messaging that provides superior patient engagement. With the emergence of deploying 5g technology, it provides the ability to stream 4K content and support higher resolution for patient related videos anytime, anywhere with low latency that increases patient engagement and the patient experience.
When the network is low on bandwidth, the transmission can take a long time or not send successfully. This means the patient waits even longer for treatment and providers can see fewer patients in the same amount of time. By incorporating 5G network to existing architectures providers can use mobility to quickly and reliably transmit large data packet, which can improve both access to care and the quality of care.
3. Reliable, real-time remote monitoring
By using IoT devices, healthcare providers can monitor patients and gather data that can be used to improve personalized and preventive care. According to Anthem, 86% of doctors say wearables, which are a common type of remote monitoring, increase patient engagement with their own health. Additionally, wearables are predicted to decrease hospital costs by 16% in the next five years. Despite the benefits, remote monitoring technology usage is limited by the capacity of the network to handle the data. Slow network speeds and unreliable connections could mean doctors are unable to get the real-time data they need to make quick healthcare decisions. With 5G technology, which has lower latency and higher capacity, healthcare systems can offer remote monitoring for more patients. Providers can then be confident that they will receive the data they need in real time and can provide the care their patients need and expect.
4. Remote Medicine and Emergency Care
One study of acute stroke and heart attack cases found that one-third of all ambulance trips to the hospital exceeded the maximum recommended 15-minute transport time. A longer transport time increases mortality rates and the likelihood of permanent injuries.
5G telehealth has the potential to significantly improve emergency care by helping first responders provide more efficient lifesaving measures under the guidance of expert surgeons and diagnosticians – before they get to the hospital.
For instance, high-quality video calls may allow paramedics to conduct emergency treatment or assess and diagnose patients at the scene with the assistance of a specialist from the care team online. With HiLiteMD you can have secure text, call, video chat with internal parties and your care team which can be an extremely beneficial tool at emergency situations.
With new, high-quality, and affordable video conferencing technology and broader access through 5G networks, it seems we may be on the cusp of widespread use of telemedicine and remote care. Access to the 5G network combined with platforms like HiLiteMD can literally provide a lease on life for some patients. Visit us at https://www.hilitemd.com/ or contact us at info@HiLiteHealth.com for more information.
CEO | HiLite Health