emergency care
is transforming
with IoT and

Author: Phil Muncaster

Many fantastic use cases are beginning to emerge from the 5G revolution. More often than not, the focus is on the consumer benefits that the lightning-fast speeds and low latency of 5G can provide. But, in fact, emergency medical services (EMS) also have much to gain from the string of innovative applications currently in development as well.

At a time when emergency medical services have been stretched to the limit by the pandemic, 5G could open the door to an exciting new era of remote emergency care.

5G and remote emergency care

5G has the potential to offer a range of benefits to support innovative use cases, from connected ambulances to remote patient monitoring. The key lies in its low-latency, high-bandwidth capabilities.

This means it could support applications like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), high-definition streaming, video calling, and the Internet of Things (IoT) with high performance, security and reliability. A 5G-connected ambulance could stream data to hospitals from connected wearables and medical IoT kits.

Future-looking applications

Remote emergency care use cases supported by 5G could range from preventive monitoring to emergency response and beyond. Here are a few future-looking scenarios:

A smart ambulance system using IoT, VR and AR

A smart ambulance system using IoT could allow first responders to wear connected glasses displaying patient information, including medical history, to enhance treatment and diagnoses. The same technology could be combined with connected robotic gloves and used to help remote clinicians "guide" first responders' hands to perform emergency procedures.

X-rays and ultrasounds

When it comes to remote emergency care, a smart ambulance system using IoT and a 5G-connected ambulance could be fitted with equipment to perform X-rays or ultrasound scans to send to emergency physicians. This could help prepare them for emergency room treatment or support near-real-time diagnoses.

Patient monitoring

Connected medical devices could be used to monitor patients with chronic conditions and immediately alert specialist EMS teams in the event of an emergency.

Connected control rooms

5G's high bandwidth and low latency could support mobile EMS control rooms, so remote emergency care technology would be better coordinated and able to meet demand.

Drone-delivered supplies

Researchers are exploring how to use Internet-connected drones to deliver medical supplies such as COVID-19 vaccines. They're also being designed to incorporate display screens and cameras to support telehealth use cases, in a move that could augment traditional EMS dispatches.

Partnering for the future

These are just some of the 5G innovations in development in remote emergency care. From a smart ambulance system using IoT to drone-delivered supplies, these technologies could offer new opportunities to drive rapid response, near-real-time clinical care, and improved outcomes for patients and first responders. Partnerships will be key to making this a reality. The 5G network is just one piece of the puzzle, albeit an important piece. The innovation happening on top of this remote emergency care technology must interoperate with it seamlessly to provide true value to customers.

Learn more about how Verizon Frontline, the advanced network and technology for first responders and frontline workers, is helping deliver integrated 5G solutions that empower EMS stakeholders to work more efficiently, offer a better quality of service to ultimately help first responders save more lives.