We recently wrote about how 5G can help progress telemedicine and expand its reach to new applications.
In a similar vein, Daniel Kraft spoke about how COVID-19 has led us to invest in precision medicine in his talk at TEDxMarin, titled “How COVID-19 transformed the future of medicine.”
He makes the point that although COVID-19 was (and is) a tragedy that has affected us all, there is a silver lining. He imagines a new world of healthcare, where AI, smart applications, and innovative products work together to create a health ecosystem where diagnosis and treatment is faster and more accurate. He calls this ecosystem the “Internet of Medical Things.”
In his words:
“The silver linings include the unprecedented acceleration of innovation, collaboration, and discovery, catalyzing a future of health and medicine that can help us reimagine and bring us a healthier, smarter, more equitable post-COVID world. Now, many solutions ride the rails of rapidly, exponentially developing technologies that are rapidly doubling in their speed-price performance… For example, the convergence of ever-smaller interconnected devices now riding 5G is creating not just an Internet of Things but an Internet of Medical Things.”
Some of these advances in technology might seem trivial, but when taken as a whole, this can lead to a stepwise change in the way we treat patients. This applies to illness prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
For example, wearables that measure our health and behavior can be used to create patterns that predict whether or not we are at risk. There are now smartphone apps that can be used for self-diagnostics where a visit to the doctor is not possible.
“Much of this convergence is in the field of digital health, the ability to connect the dots between data sources from personal genomics and medical records with apps and services that match the needs of an individual, patient or caregiver… new forms of data to help prediction of prevention to faster diagnostics, more tailored therapy, and increasingly crowdsourced discovery…”
In order to fully leverage these advances, Daniel points out that we need to connect the information, securely of course. The real advances in healthcare come when information can be shared to find patterns that would be invisible to us otherwise. This is where his “Internet of Medical Things” comes in. As with standard IoT, Internet of Medical Things will require high bandwidth and low latency to be truly effective. And if you’ve been reading anything we’ve written lately, you already know that means 5G.
The new 5G networks that are being developed and deployed have the potential to make Daniel’s dream of true healthcare and an Internet of Medical Things a reality. Ethernity is providing critical technology from the 5G cell tower to the network core, which will help enable 5G to meet the demands that come along with this.
In particular, Ethernity offers a complete router data plane on FPGA to allow offloading of 5G applications, upgrading networks to 5G performance and providing the required lower latency by implementing the forwarding and routing on a SmartNIC instead of on a server. We at Ethernity Networks are especially proud to be a part of this innovation.