The novel coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted the role that 5G can play in epidemic control as 5G+ thermal imaging supports contagion monitoring and it can accurately spot a moving object’s temperatures in real-time without contact and issue abnormal temperature alerts, a new study said on Thursday.
According to a joint Huawei and Deloitte study, COVID-19 or coronavirus has put tremendous pressure on public healthcare systems and epidemic response mechanisms across the world.
In China, due to its vast landscape, large, highly mobile population and their complicated demand for resources, the effectiveness of communication and data exchange have been essential in screening for infected individuals, thus, providing on-ground support to front line staff and controlling the outbreak.
Telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals.
“As a result of 5G features such as high speed connection, high reliability and low latency, the healthcare system has benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration and resource allocation. It also sets an example for digitalized, data driven and Cloud-based innovative major public emergency response platforms,” the company said in a statement.
“The success of 5G applications in the public health domain could also inspire businesses in other sectors to leverage 5G’s popularity and explore new applications of the technology.”
According to the study, 5G enables continuous remote monitoring and diagnosis during patient transfer.
It is the ideal technology to meet teleconferencing requirements to enable medical experts to treat patients without constraints on their physical location, and substantially improve the accuracy and efficiency of consultations.
Natural disaster response can be equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) networks, thus, enabling deep analysis of supply chains and providing real time information on front-line supply consumption, resource inventory levels, production capability, supply capability and logistics support decisions to balance supply and demand, the study noted. (IANS)
As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to overwhelm doctors and hospitals throughout the country, medical technology firms and health centers are trying to gain “situational awareness” — giving doctors what they need to know about the sick patients filling emergency rooms.
For doctors and staff, “it’s really hard to know what sorts of patients are coming,” said Warren Ratliff, the chief executive of MDmetrix, a software firm that provides analysis of health care inside hospitals.
The staff “can see they’re backing up,” he said. But they have few tools to compare patients showing up today with those admitted yesterday, or to show what treatments might be working on certain groups of patients, he added.
A frustrated doctor
MDmetrix was created by a doctor frustrated that he couldn’t analyze data across patients. With electronic medical records, which have been in use in the U.S. for years, mostly for tracking and billing, physicians typically view one patient’s record at a time.
Enter medical technology firms like MDmetrix, which offer information dashboards and apps so that doctors and hospitals can look for trends and insights across patient outcomes. The technology pulls data from patients’ electronic medical records.
Please follow NewsGram on Facebook to get updates on the latest news
As they deal with the patients in front of them, hospitals and doctors are struggling to answer what may seem like simple questions, Ratliff said. How many ventilators are being used? Is low oxygen an indicator of COVID-19? Has anyone followed up on patients who were tested and sent home?
The demand for information extends to whether there are different treatments for different groups, he said.
Different patients, different treatments
“Is there a difference in the treatment between smokers or nonsmokers?” Ratliff said. “In a couple of years, an after-action report will come out. But that’s way too late if you’re fighting a battle right now.”
With the push of a button, clinicians and hospital administrators get MDmetrix’s COVID-19 dashboard of charts and graphs that they can view to improve patient care. The information is a real-time snapshot of “whether treatment protocol A is working better than protocol B for any subset of patients,” Ratliff said.
As for privacy concerns, data pulled from patient records is stripped of its identity and aggregated, complying with health care privacy laws, Ratliff said.
MDmetrix is being used at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, both in Seattle. The company is providing its “COVID-19 Mission Control” software for free to hospitals and medical centers.
Leveraging the electronic health record
A recent paper in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association outlined efforts at the University of California San Diego Health to quickly build new dashboards based on electronic health records to manage the growing crisis. The authors conclusion: Electronic health records “should be leveraged to their full potential.”
Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news
Over the past several years, there’s been an explosion of technology tools to analyze and aggregate data drawn from electronic health records, said Julia Adler-Milstein, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. But the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing hospitals and companies to find ways – sometimes in just days – to analyze data and get critical information to decision-makers.
“This has been a pressure test,” she said. “How can we get cuts of our data for the new disease?”
Figuring out trends inside a hospital is also the work of TransformativeMed, an electronic record-keeping application that tracks a patient as he or she moves through the hospital. It is being used at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center; MedStar Health in the Washington, D.C., area; and VCU Health Center in Richmond, Virginia.
Tracking a patient — from symptoms, lab results and treatments — can help a hospital understand how a disease is progressing through a community, how effective treatments are and what isn’t working, said Dr. Rodrigo Martinez, chief clinical officer at TransformativeMed and an ear, nose and throat doctor.
A generational opportunity
Please follow NewsGram on Instagram to get updates on the latest news
The battle against COVID-19 could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to greatly improve the health care system, he said. The social distancing requirements will boost telehealth, with patients and their health care providers likely to appreciate how much can be accomplished through video chat, he said. 3-D printing, which is being used to repair and create ventilators, will help the medical supply chain. And home lab tests will also likely grow.