Contributors: Brandon Poulussen, Indy Janssens, and Daan Custers.
In its quest to help solve societal problems through co-creation and the use of the latest technologies, the 5G Hub was the stage for a meeting with a group of huisartsen (General Practitioners) who were eager to learn more about cutting-edge tools that can improve their daily work–and save uncountable lives. The meeting was about remote care: when help and support can come to the patients via non-specialist, removing the need to bring them to specialized care when possible. Moreover, decreasing the waiting time for help to reach the patient. Think of an ultrasound being made by the GP while the specialist can monitor all the examinations from the hospital.
On occasion, Philips showcased their highly portable ultrasound. Following the same technology present in the Connected Ambulance use case, the equipment has been modified to work on PCs and smartphones. Powered by 5G’s stability and reliability, the machine can send real-time data on patients’ states, giving crucial insight into their condition, which can decide if they need, for example, emergency surgery or not.
Philips’ XR Specialist Njin-Zu Chen emphasizes how the lack of skilled professionals affects the sector. “You cannot make an expert out of everybody,” he says, meaning that non-specialists can be an asset in the spread of informed and accurate diagnosis with the use of such applications. Chen’s fellow Philips colleague, Systems Architect Fons de Lange, explains that this equipment helps solve this problem: “With such an application, specialists can be anywhere, at any time. Moreover, you can have an AI application to employ it in the future.” Therefore, it can be a formidable asset for healthcare professionals worldwide.
Also present at the event were Dutch Rose Media and 4DR Studios demonstrating an Augmented Reality demo designed for training purposes. Alex van Alfen, from the department of marketing and sales, explained that with the use of AR, they can film people realistically, in 360 degrees, combining all the data in a virtual CPR training with HoloLens. Instructions are also given to the trainees, who receive real-time feedback on their performance, measuring whether they employ the correct rhythm when resuscitating a patient.
The most significant take from the event was that concrete steps must be taken to ensure that technology and healthcare sectors are aligned and in constant communication. 5G Hub’s Program Board member Rene Visser highlights the importance of a happy, fruitful marriage between health and technology: “It is our job to promote the proper translation in the conversation between healthcare and technology. Virtual aid has huge benefits, such as faster expert help to patients, being also a very cost-efficient approach.” The future of healthcare is one of the 5G Hub’s verticals and a relevant topic for society. Eindhoven and the entire region are nurturing massive advancements in the sector. For one of the guests, GP Wil Rijnders, “visiting the Brainport region is essential to realize that everything is possible with the right technology at hand.”