Vodafone UK exec: ‘This is a direct example of how [5G] can revolutionize the healthcare industry’
Clinicians and surgeons at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and University Hospital Llandough are testing the use of Proximie, a global technology platform that allows healthcare workers to virtually “scrub in” to any operating room or lab, with support from a 5G in-building coverage system supplied by Vodafone UK.
Proximie’s platform uses advanced technologies including augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable clinicians to transport themselves virtually into operating rooms, cath labs and hospitals from anywhere in the world so that they can interact visually and guide procedures.
Nadine Haram (BEM), founder and chief executive of Proximie, shared that the company is “always looking for ways to make our platform better for our clinicians around the world,” adding that moving forward, connectivity “will be the key driver.”
“If we can increase connectivity, make it faster, and more seamless,” she continued, “we can ultimately save more lives by connecting more clinicians across the globe.”
Use cases being trialed include connecting nurses in Cardiff to remotely located expert consultants, as well as in surgeries and to provide colonoscopy training to nurses so more patients can be seen in a shorter time.
According to Proximie, the platform helps ensure better and more consistent patient care by allowing clinicians to share their skills and knowledge in real-time. Further, it creates an immersive, multi-dimensional experience and optimizes collaboration. Those participating in a surgery remotely, for instance, can interact with objects and surgeons in the room. For example, their hands can be superimposed on the video feed of the patient’s anatomy to give precise directives during the operation. Notes and sketches can also be overlaid on the video feed for reference.
“The importance of connectivity can’t be understated as we enter this new age of healthcare,” said Len Richards, CEO of the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. “Providing an important platform from which we can explore exciting clinical innovations such as this to improve outcomes for our patients.”
From Vodafone’s perspective, 5G, in particular, has the potential to transform the healthcare industry.
“Society will undoubtedly benefit from 5G, and this is a direct example of how digital technologies can revolutionize the healthcare industry. The clinicians of tomorrow can benefit from the experience and insight of colleagues wherever they are located, and this will only lead to a better standard of healthcare,” commented Anne Sheehan, director, Vodafone Business UK.