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ZTE for A New 5G Healthcare Approach: COVID -19 Pandemic

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ZTE along with China Telecom and West China Hospital, a use case on 5G and the Pandemic.

Information technologies such as 5G, cloud computing, edge computing, network slicing, VR/AR, AI and robotics can greatly improve the treatment of patients in hospitals during the Covide-19 pandemic. ZTE has introduced a new approach to patient treatment that use VR and 5G technology with 8K panoramic cameras. West China Hospital of Sichuan University is one of the advanced medical facilities for diagnosing and treating complex and critical illnesses in China. According to China Telecom, this solution covers 208 healthcare units. ZTE with China Telecom completed the rapid construction, optimization, speed test, and commissioning of the 5G indoor distribution system at another core point of the remote diagnosis and treatment system.

The main function of the project was focused on deploying and implementing the four 5G services based on the advanced 5G network architecture. Firstly, the VR remote ward monitoring solution provided the combination of 5G connectivity, 8K panoramic cameras and VR technology for remote immersive monitoring of hospital wards through a 5G high bandwidth, low latency connection.

Secondly, VR remote visits facilitated by the combination of 5G and VR, enabled two-way immersive visits between family members and patients during the Covid-19 restrictions, which increased both family member and patient’s mental health and wellbeing. Sixty year-old Kang Jian, whose son Kang Jianjiao’s legs were seriously injured in a car accident, was able to visit his son in the ICU of West China Hospital virtually, through the 5G+VR system. Kang Jian, said "I can just turn my head to wherever I want to look. If I turn around this way, I get to see his leg. It's as if I was there."

Third function was telemedicine which uses data screens + remote control and other technologies, to enable collaboration at anytime and anywhere, establishing new remote diagnosis and treatment capabilities to achieve "face-to-face" treatment. Hu Chenggong, Associate Professor, Critical Care Dept., West China Hospital said that "VR technology is now very mature. And 5G technology is very fast, there's no delay. So I thought we could use these technologies for ICU visits and remote diagnosis." Hu Chenggong now wants to expand the use of this technology. As the best hospital in Southwest China, West China Hospital works with many small medical facilities in the region. Hu Chenggong further said that "Some patients might be very remote, and lack good medical resources and experienced doctors. But we can realize tele-medicine through this kind of technology. It's as though I was standing right there." Through telemedicine many more lives will have another chance.

Lastly ICU Central Monitoring with the help of technologies such as remote simulation control of intelligent terminals, central access and monitoring of ICU bed unit equipment through the 5G network, allows medical staff to provide real-time patient monitoring. The videos captured by each of these cameras offer an immersive experience." Unlike traditional video chatting, the VR technology provides a 360-degree panoramic view.

ZTE is committed to expanding the use of wireless technologies to support telemedicine across the world through trials and commercial deployments in many countries, including a remote consultation service in Colombia and remote ambulance connectivity in Hong Kong, in collaboration with mobile operators and healthcare institutions.

Virtualized telemedicine applications for remote consultations and other healthcare services will improve the availability and outcome of medical care across all markets, as well as peoples’ quality of life and standard of living in the future.