Exploration of the future of healthcare in collaboration with ecosystem partners

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Exploration of the future of healthcare in collaboration with ecosystem partners

How digital technology enables remote care

Research partners: Catharina Ziekenhuis, Ambulancezorg GGD Brabant- Zuidoost, VodafoneZiggo, Ericsson, Philips Research

Research case: The Connected Ambulance

Ultrasound is now rarely used in medical emergency ambulances. With 5G, a reliable connection between hospital and ambulance could be realized during medical emergencies, enabling real-time diagnosis and remote care. The main factors in this are:

  • 5G offers the possibility to give priority to medical services by means of network slicing, so that the network is guaranteed to be available – unlike the 4G network..
  • 5G offers low latency communication, so there is as little delay between sender and receiver as possible. This allows the doctor to pass ultrasound instructions, so that the ultrasound can be performed correctly.
  • 5G offers high bandwidth, which allows better and more complete communication between doctor and ambulance personnel. This way, a lot of data can be sent simultaneously and real-time medical images can be made and assessed.


In the vision of Philips, the hospital of the future is a hospital without walls, with technology that can ensure that care takes place where the patient is. There is a growing shortage of health workers and an increasing need for care because people are living longer. In order to be able to continue to provide quality care in the future, care must be organized in a different way, with an important role for digitization. 5G brings the hospital of the future a step closer, because it can support remote care in various ways.

One of the ways in which Philips is investigating this remote care support is in the pilot project “the Connected Ambulance”. In this partnership between Philips, GGD Brabant-Zuidoost, Catharina Hospital, VodafoneZiggo and Ericsson, the partners join forces to enrich and support the existing communication between ambulance personnel and doctors in the hospital with reliable exchange of large amounts of medical data, as is the case with ultrasound images.

With the “Connected Ambulance”, 5G could make it possible to create a reliable connection between doctor and ambulance personnel by means of “network slicing”, because the network is guaranteed available. With the high bandwidth and minimal delay on the 5G network, better and more complete communication can then take place between doctor and ambulance personnel, including the real-time assessment of medical scans.

Now the patient can often only be extensively diagnosed in hospital. Ultrasound that is supported by 5G offers the possibility to perform an on-site ultrasound in addition to the standard resuscitation, whereby a doctor can remotely watch live, give instructions and assess the ultrasound in real-time. As a result, a diagnosis can be made earlier and therefore treatment can be started earlier. This way of working remotely makes it possible to make the correct diagnosis faster and better and to start administering the right medication or treatment more quickly on the spot. This allows valuable time to be saved when every minute counts.

Linda de Goederen – project leader of the 5G project at Philips – indicates the importance of collaboration with all parties involved and the role 5G plays in remote care: “The only way to evaluate whether a new solution such as remote ultrasound can be used in urgent cases. situation actually leads to greater chances of survival and better care outcomes, is to research and evaluate this in practice with clinical parties and telecom partners. We can then experience what works well and learn which aspects still need to be improved for the implementation of the technology in the care chain. We foresee an important role for 5G to enable remote care in the future. ”