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Importance of 5G technology on Healthcare in Kenya

5G technology assists in quickly transmitting large imaging files. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) and other image machines are typically very large files

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Importance of 5G technology on Healthcare in Kenya

5G is the fifth generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G,3G and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. 5G network wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experience and connect new industries.

The main advantages of the 5G is greater speed in transmissions, a lower latency and therefore a greater capacity of remote execution, a greater number of connected devices and possibility of implementing virtual networks, providing more adjusted connectivity to concrete needs.

Safaricom, the leading telecommunication company in Kenya launched the 5G technology with 15 sites in Kenya in March, 2021 and it wants to take high speed internet to additional towns in Kenya. According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said that the company would use up to 200 sites for testing the upgraded network as it seeks to capitalize on burgeoning mobile internet use in the country. Internet users in Kenya as of January 2021 were 21.75 million.

Both Safaricom and its closest rival Airtel Kenya are in the race for superfast internet, which priority is given to urban centres such as Nairobi. Airtel Kenya recently upgraded 600 network sites to meet 5G mobile internet service capabilities in readiness to roll out the superfast services in Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi.

Despite the 5G launch in Kenya, many of Kenya’s customers are still on 3G given that the prices of cheapest 4G handsets are now averaging between Sh 5,000 and Sh. 6000. High prices may derail the implementation of 5G technology as many subscribers are willing to switch from 4G phones to 5G phones despite the increased services such as ultrahigh video resolution streaming and real- time 3D gaming.

Technological advancement is one of the key strengths in the current era to overcome the challenging circumstances of Covid- 19 outbreak and other terminal illnesses like cancer and diabetes. 

The timely application of relevant technologies will be imperative to not only to safeguard, but manage the post covid-19 world. The novel ICT technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, 5G communications, cloud computing and blockchain play a vital role to facilitate the environment fostering protection and improvement of people and economies 

Importance of 5G technology on Healthcare in Kenya.

5G assists transmit Big Data.

5G technology assists in quickly transmitting large imaging files. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) and other image machines are typically very large files, and often must be sent to a specialist for review. When the network is low on bandwidth, the transmission can take a long time or net send successfully. 

This means the patient waits even longer for treatment and providers can see fewer patients in the same amount of time. Adding a high speed 5G network to existing systems can help quickly and reliably transport big data files of medical imagery, which can improve both access to care and quality care. The International Cancer Institute uses the telemedicine and telepathology programs to ensure patients get expert opinion and the best cancer treatment remotely. This can be possible with the use of a 5G network.

According to a study by Market Research Future, the telemedicine market is expected to grow annually by 16.5% from 2017-2023. The study indicated that the reason for the predicted increase is high demand in rural areas for healthcare, as well as a rise in government initiatives. According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Telemedicine is the use of electronic information and telecommunication technology to get the healthcare you need while practicing social distancing. All you need is a phone or device with the internet to continue your medical care while at home. Telemedicine requires a network that can support real-time high-quality video, which often means wired networks. With 5G, healthcare systems can enable mobile networks to handle telemedicine appointments, which can greatly increase the reach for programs. When healthcare systems utilize this technology, patients can often get treated sooner and have access to specialists otherwise not available. It can also allow doctors and other staff members to collaborate more efficiently.

While , Augmented Reality (AR) a system that incorporates three basic features; a combination of a real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction, and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects. While Virtual Reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world, and spatial computing is already being used in healthcare on a limited basis, 5G will enhance doctor’s ability to deliver innovative, less invasive treatments. Among 5G applications is to simulate complex medical scenarios and enable alternative treatments for the critically ill.

5G is reliable, real time remote monitoring. 

By using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, healthcare providers can monitor patients and gather data that can be used to improve personalized and preventive care. IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (IUDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human to human or human to computer interaction. Despite the benefits, remote monitoring technology usage is limited by the capacity of the network to handle the data. Slow network speeds and unreliable connections could mean doctors are unable to get the real-time data they need to make quick healthcare decisions.

With 5G technology, which has lower latency and high capacity, healthcare systems can offer remote monitoring for more patients. Healthcare providers can then be confident that they will receive the data they need in real time and can provide the care their patients need and expert. With 5G, translators can video conference with the patient and doctor using models at the network edge with low latency. Healthcare organizations are using IoT to operate more efficiently, better understand customers to deliver enhanced customer service, improve decision-making and increase the value of the business.

Artificial intelligence

Many key healthcare functions are beginning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to determine potential diagnoses and decide on the best treatment plan for a specific patient. Additionally, AI can help predict which patients are more likely to have post-operative complications, allowing healthcare systems to provide early interventions when necessary. 

The big data needed for real-time rapid learning requires ultra-reliable and high-bandwidth networks. Additionally, providers often need to access data from their mobile devices.

By moving to 5G networks, healthcare organizations can use the AI tools they need to provide the best care possible- from wherever they are in hospital or clinic. By enabling all these technologies through 5G networks, healthcare systems can improve the quality of care and patient experience; reduce the cost of care, and more. 

The 5G network will not only help to react to patients’ conditions but also enable providers with the ability to provide more personalized and preventive care- which is the reason many healthcare employees became providers in the first place.

The future of the 5G network in healthcare is digital health by transforming the future of healthcare through digitization, patient experience by putting patient outcomes first, healthcare business by recognizing opportunities together and discovering resources with the latest technologies globally. Digital healthcare provides healthcare leaders and experts with the latest artificial intelligence and digital transformation news, trends, and the strategies in healthcare today.

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