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Understanding the opportunities for operators in healthcare

Wearable devices, secure online consultations, and remote procedures like robotic surgery will improve resource efficiency and meet consumer demands for greater convenience and freedom of choice. This technological transformation of the healthcare sector offers numerous opportunities for telecom operators to penetrate new value chains and initiate partnerships that benefit the entire ecosystem.

Collaboration is crucial

In our report, The 5G Business Potential, we analyse the 5G business opportunity that comes from industrial digitalization in eight key global industries. In healthcare, we predict a USD 76 billion revenue opportunity in 2026 for operators addressing healthcare transformation with 5G. For transformation to succeed, collaboration between different players is essential.

Healthcare officials cross the industry place telecom operators at the top of the list when it comes to partnerships – above app developers and pharmaceutical companies.

Eighty-six percent of cross-industry decision makers included in the Ericsson ConsumerLab report, From Healthcare to Homecare, believe operators could provide system integration along with app and service development – in addition to their roles as network providers.

Whom do they want to partner with
Create your 5G business now

Create your 5G business now

We foresee that operators can address a USD 582 billion global market opportunity leveraging 5G technology for industry digitalization. Learn more about the 5G business potential in our new report.

From Healthcare to Homecare

From Healthcare to Homecare

The latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report reveals consumer and industry insights on the impact of 5G on the future of healthcare and its transformation across preventative, routine and post-operative care.

Decentralizing care

Several areas will emerge for operators to enter the healthcare value chain and drive its transformation, including hospital applications – virtual reality used in medical training, telemetry and online booking systems – and real-time medical data management.

Use case categories in healthcare

The area that holds the most promise for operators addressing this industry with 5G is patient applications used outside of traditional hospital environments. Examples of use cases in this category include precision medicine, online consultations and applications to monitor health and administer medication remotely to better manage chronic ailments.(Ericsson’s study The 5G business potential - Industry digitalization and the untapped opportunities for operators)

Telecom operator revenue potential in addressing healthcare industry digitalization with 5G

Hospitals turn into data centers

In order for the transformation of patient applications to happen, patient data will need to be stored centrally, effectively turning hospitals into data centers and doctors into data scientists. Patients will get online access to a central repository of medical records to help them easily manage the quality and efficiency of their care. 45 percent of the cross-industry experts consider this a breakthrough in healthcare provisioning, while 47 percent of telecom decision makers say that secure access is a key challenge.

5G will certainly bring the ability to stay in touch with the patient through these monitoring technologies, whether it’s out in the field with an ambulance or in the patient’s home.”

Hospital IT, US

Remote monitoring

When it comes to battery life, 42 percent of cross-industry decision makers expect 5G to enable devices to consume less power which is key in remote monitoring situations.

Current consumer-grade wearables are widely used for preventative measures but are not considered sufficiently accurate or reliable for diagnosis. In addition, for liability reasons, patients’ smartphones cannot be relied upon for connectivity. For their part, wearables require high-frequency updates from a central repository but at low-data rates. 5G connectivity is not limited to wearables; it also enables patients to carry a medical-grade 5G router that then connects to various wearables using Bluetooth.

Remote procedures

Robotic surgery is already happening today in operating theatres, but with the surgeon standing next to the robot rather than remotely. Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers feel that remote robotic surgery would be acceptable yet sixty-one percent believe such procedures are risky as they rely on the internet. Such procedures are conducted using haptic feedback and high definition image streaming demanding low-latency and high throughput communication.

5G networks are essential to the provision of remote services yet the demands from the evolving healthcare sector on technology are high.

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Read more about the 5G trials with Kings College
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