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How will 5G shape emergency services?

Twitter: @Tamas_Dankovics


Most of us can recall a situation when an ambulance rushed by with flashing lights. There are certain situations when every second counts in order to be able to save a human life or minimize the impact of injury. This weighs heavily on first responders, who are at the front line with their first diagnoses and treatment actions as they race to the hospital.

This year at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai Nokia, together with China Mobile, demonstrated the dramatic improvement 5G can bring to these emergency situations.

New innovations and technologies in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Computer Tomography, Genomics or Minimal Invasive Robot Surgeries are continuously evolving in the medical science and healthcare field to help save lives and treat illnesses.

Given the dramatic improvements in reliability, speed and latency of communication, 5G will enable a far-reaching revolution in the health sector, from remote diagnosis and surgery to constant, comprehensive, reliable and predictive health monitoring, even outside hospitals. Especially as the care point is shifting from hospitals towards general practice surgeries, day-clinics, care homes, patient homes and mobile ambulatory systems.

As per the scenario in the not too distant future, super-ambulances equipped with CT (Computed Tomography) and x-ray scanners, and high definition video communication are connecting the vehicle to the Emergency Room Center (ERC) with a 5G connection. Doctors in ERC can ‘see’ the patient via high definition visual connection and order a CT scan of the patient’s head.

All of the medical monitoring and data collection is done in the ambulance and then the essential information - including ECG data, video, CT scan result are sent wirelessly to the remote ERC within seconds via 5G. A single CT scan requires roughly 200 MB of  data to be sent securely to the ERC getting life extremely low latency and high throughput to assist the ambulance crew in these life saving measures.

The capability of 5G networks extends beyond the super-ambulance, as the ERC can take additional information such as bringing together real time road traffic info, automatically connecting to surrounding hospitals and linking together each hospital’s surgery room and equipment availability. This way, the most suitable hospital is recommended to the ambulance, which then sends an alert and all available data to the selected hospital.

Meanwhile, the doctors can  prepare accordingly for the patient’s arrival based on the efficient flow of communication between the hospital and the ambulance. With this 5G-enabled tele-health diagnosis, critical time is saved for better use of the 'emergency window'.


Nokia’s 5G FIRST radio solution enabled this with extremely high over the air data rates and sub milli-second latency. Unique 5G features such as ‘network slicing’ create virtual instances of an end-to-end physical network tailored to the needs of very diverse use cases with different requirements for latency, throughput and availability. 5G network slicing brings the adaptability needed to meet the performance expectations for these new telehealth use cases, services, business models, approaches to infrastructure usage and radio access requirements that will emerge with 5G.

Explore the world of 5G use cases, where you will find additional information and resources about the topic.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #5G #broadband