The mantra is repeated again and again: "5G connectivity It will forever change our lives and the way we relate to things. "But this technology, which is still in its initial stages, will not begin to be massively commercialized until the end of 2020, and until then there will be few opportunities to see what it consists of This Tuesday has been one of the first: the inauguration of an operating theater with 5G connectivity at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, which will allow an expert surgeon miles away to advise and give orders in real time to doctors who are in the room, realizing the ambition to create a "remote surgery." The initiative, which will be implemented for the first time on February 27 during the Mobile World Congress with an operation in streaming, is the result of an agreement between the Clínic, the 5G Barcelona platform, Vodafone and the company Advances in Surgery Channel.
The initiative of the Hospital Clínic is one of the six pilot projects on 5G applications that will be carried out during the Mobile World Congress. This event last year was very focused on this technology, and for this edition is expected that manufacturers start to get the first phones with the ability to connect to this network, and projects like the Clinic show their application. But it costs, for now, to understand how it works concretely. The project of "remote surgery" aims to make it clear.
The first application will be next February 27. That day, a team of doctors from the Hospital Clínic will perform an intervention (the center has not specified what type it will be, only that it will correspond to the gastrointestinal field) to a client in the Optimus operating room, one of the most advanced rooms in the world, and from now on it is equipped with 5G technology, deployed by Vodafone. At the same moment of the operation, at Fira de Barcelona, where there will also be 5G coverage, another surgeon will be able to see the intervention in a precise real time, and guide the surgeons of the ward.
The key in this application is in the latency, that is, the time that passes from when the order is given until it is executed. The 5G technology manages to minimize this time, opening the door not only to remote surgery, but also to the connected car or to the connection between everyday elements (the so-called Internet of Things). A revolution for which it is still necessary to completely develop the technology, to deploy the thousands of antennas that have to make it possible, and for the operators to extend the coverage.
"In the United States, it is from the defense industry, from the military, where all the innovation in 5G comes from, we want the health sector to be the driver of innovation," he said in the presentation. the advisor of Digital Policies and Public Administration, Jordi Puigneró. "We do not have enough with being the mobile world capital, we want to be the 5G world capital", has added.
The presentation was also attended by the Deputy Mayor Gerardo Pisarello, the President of the Mobile World Capital Foundation, Carlos Grau and the President of Vodafone Spain, Antonio Coimbra. The event was chaired by the general director of the Hospital Clínic, Josep Maria Campistol, who was accompanied by Antonio de Lacy, head of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Service at this center.
Precisely it will be Lacy who performs the surgical intervention during the mobile congress. "5G connectivity in surgery is also very important for in-hospital management, since the expert surgeon will not have to go to the room whenever it is needed, it can be done remotely." If we improve the relationship between cost and efficiency, we will improve the waiting lists, "he said. "We will start with this project and it will be extended, I can guarantee that there will be a line," he said.