Where has 5G been deployed to enable mass health screening & testing?

In Scotland, O2 and the University of Glasgow conducted a pilot trial of a fully connected Covid-19 testing clinic-on-wheels, supported by their 5G mobile network. The three-month trial was designed to provide remote testing and tracking of 550 care home residents and workers over six care homes in Glasgow, as well as deliver essential medical supplies.  


Data on the number of tests performed and the results were shared to a secure cloud server, with the testing unit providing a dashboard of real-time epidemiological analysis to the NHS, Scottish Government and public health organisations.  Crucially, it was designed to minimise exposure of care home residents and staff to Covid-19, thereby ensuring greater efficiency for healthcare workers and enhancing the testing capability of the NHS.

Muhammad Imran

Vodafone, Intel, Fivecomm and Altran have developed a 5G Covid Robot or “Sentinel Robot”. A 5G-connected Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) with on-board video and thermal cameras enables monitoring, and can identify people that are not wearing masks as well as detect people with above-normal body temperatures. 

High temperatures or non-compliance with mask-wearing generates alarms at a remote command centre and remote operators can then take appropriate actions, such as interacting with the identified person using the devices in the robot (tablet & speakers). The low latency and high performance of a standalone 5G network, enables the remote driving of the robot to approach the person that the operator wants to interact with.

In China, Baidu has developed several tools that can be effectively used to screen populations, including an AI-powered, non-contact infrared sensor system that provides users with rapid multi-person temperature monitoring to detect suspected fever.  

Haifeng Wang, CTO at Baidu, said: “Traditional approaches, such as station personnel using frontal medical thermometer devices, can easily cause crowds and increase the risk of cross-infection.  Baidu’s AI temperature sensor system can quickly screen crowds to improve detection efficiency and accuracy without creating unnecessary risks”.

This technology — powered by 5G — is being used in Beijing’s Qinghe Railway Station and can examine up to 200 people in one minute. Accurate mass screening can, therefore, be conducted without disrupting the passenger flow.