Technology 2 min read

Doctor Performs World’s First 5G Surgery

In a world's first, a surgeon performed an operation using 5G to accurately mentor professionals in the operating room. This new form of 5G surgery could be exciting news for the world of healthcare, particularly in remote areas.

This new surgery method could fundamentally change our global healthcare system. ¦ MAD.vertise/ Shutterstock

This new surgery method could fundamentally change our global healthcare system. ¦ MAD.vertise/ Shutterstock

An exciting world’s first happened during the annual phone showcase at the Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona.

Head of the gastrointestinal surgery service at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Dr. Antonio de Lacy remotely guided a surgical team through an intestinal tumor procedure. Since the surgery took place at a hospital three miles from the MWC venue, Dr. De Lacy had to depend on surgical telementoring.

Image via Business Recorder

Now here’s the exciting part, the surgeon sent his instruction over a 5G connection.

With its lightning-fast connectivity, 5G is the future of wireless networks. The next-generation wireless network increases image quality as well as definition. Since the image quality provides detailed information, it reduces the chances of making mistakes.

As a result, a doctor performing a 5G surgery will find it easier to make the informed decisions necessary when performing telemonitored surgeries.

Also, 5G surgery has a much lower latency. That means images and data are sent and received almost instantly.

Current 4G wireless networks have a latency period of 0.27 seconds. For the 5G surgery, Dr. de Lacy’s had a 0.01 seconds lag time. Ultimately, the faster connection allows health professionals to share information in real-time.

John Hoffman, the chief executive officer of the mobile communications industry body GSMA told AFP;

“If you are going to do remote assisted surgery, you need to be almost there in person. You cannot have more than a couple of milliseconds latency. And that is where 5G technology comes in.”

By performing the world’s first 5G-powered telementored operation, Dr. de Lacy also laid a foundation for something bigger; robotics surgery.

Experts believe that 5G connections will one day allow doctors to control robot arms to perform surgeries in remote areas that lack specialist doctors.

That’s right; the next-gen wireless network could eliminate the geographical and logistical obstacles between patients and the healthcare they need.

“This is a first step to achieve our dream, which is to make remote operations in the near future,” said Dr. Antonio de Lacy.

The increased speed and lower latency that comes with a 5G connection could also revolutionize self-self-driving cars, factory robots, and multi-player gaming.

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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