Friday, September 22, 2023

COVID-19: Huawei-based 5G Telemedicine Solution Wins Innovation Award

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The tele-medicine solution for COVID-19 developed by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital based on Huawei’s 5G network solutions has been awarded GSMA GLOMO ‘Best Innovation for COVID-19 Pandemic Response & Recovery’. This award shows the industry’s recognition of 5G smart healthcare for its role in helping combat the virus.

The judges of the award have commented on how extra-ordinary 2020 was due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and how these mobile technologies help with the response to and recovery from the health crisis caused by COVID-19.

In the extensive response to the COVID-19 crisis, 5G smart healthcare showed its remarkable capacity to help contain the virus and bring back our daily lives and industrial production. As one of the first hospitals to pilot 5G networks, the China-Japan Friendship Hospital was the first to receive coverage from the 5G digital indoor networks of China Telecom, China Mobile, and China Unicom, which lays a solid foundation for exploration into and application of 5G telemedicine services.

The China-Japan Friendship Hospital has been leveraging 5G to improve patient services and bring digital remote auscultation to various ICU wards and primary hospitals while assisting more than 5,000 hospitals across China through remote healthcare. Its 5G remote consultation system has been used by many hospitals to conduct remote consultations, CT examinations, and type-B ultrasounds, helping them treat COVID-19 patients efficiently. These 5G smart healthcare applications were developed together with Huawei, and have played a key role in fighting the pandemic.

In February 2020, digital auscultation helped the emergency medical team of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Hubei to acquire the pulmonary sounds of critically ill COVID-19 patients, for the first time in the field. 5G connections enabled the sound to be sent to the central platform in real-time for further AI-based multi-discipline analysis by specialists. This made it possible to diagnose oedema as the main characteristic of the pulmonary sounds of COVID-19 patients, providing a valuable clinical reference for treatment. Other telemedicine applications, such as combined ultrasound consultations, ultrasound needle knife operations, and pathology consultations that the China-Japan Friendship Hospital has developed based on 5G technology, were also essential in the extensive response made to the crisis. 5G enabled ultrasound devices at the bedside and in the operating rooms and ICU wards to connect to the central platform, allowing its specialists to provide guidance and training to doctors at other hospitals. This helped resolve the shortage of specialists and minimized their flow between hospitals, reducing the risks of cross-infection.

“5G is rapidly advancing and supercharging smart healthcare in its path. With 5G-based AI applications, smart healthcare helps us fight the pandemic with efficient remote treatment. Moreover, it will play a key role in addressing the unbalanced distribution of medical resources, improving diagnosis accuracy, and boosting healthcare efficiency,” said the Director of the Development Office of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Director of the National Telemedicine and Connected Healthcare Center, Mr Lu Qingjun. “Notably, in August 2020, China’s top health regulatory agency initiated a standardization project, requesting our hospital to research the standardization of 5G application in the medical industry together with other hospitals, research institutes, and leading 5G players. This will enable China to build 5G medical networks against unified standards to foster 5G medical innovation, standardize the development of 5G medical terminals, and develop more valuable applications, further reinforcing the infrastructure of smart hospitals.”

The president of Huawei DIS Product Line, Marvin Chen said: “5G is seeing large-scale application in healthcare. More than 700 hospitals in China have deployed 5G and have started to undertake pilot projects or apply it commercially. By equipping existing devices with 5G modules and integrating 5G modules into new equipment, a plethora of 5G services have been explored in a growing number of hospitals. Huawei will continue to innovate 5G solutions together with the healthcare industry to develop 5G applications that can help fight the pandemic and get more value out of 5G.”

The annual GLOMO Awards were set up to recognize pioneering feats of mobile technology. Prizes are handed out in a variety of different categories, including Mobile Technology, Connected Consumer, Industry X, and Tech4Good. More than 250 independent judges from across the world are involved in the award process. The panels comprise leading industry experts, analysts, journalists, academics and in some cases representatives from mobile operators.

Nkechi Isaac with agency report
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