Where has 5G been deployed to protect health and social care workers?

Scotland’s O2 and the University of Glasgow have conducted 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. Using the pinpoint accuracy location tracking — made possible by 5G — the project management team was also able to monitor the vehicle’s position and behaviour in real-time, ensuring supplies were delivered on time.

This mobile testing was crucial in the efforts to minimise exposure of care home residents and staff to Covid-19, reducing sickness levels and potentially saving lives as a result.  

Muhammad Imran

In Wuhan, during the height of the covid pandemic, autonomous robots were deployed on coronavirus wards to take temperatures, deliver meals and disinfect spaces. These robots helped to take the strain off stretched healthcare workers by performing basic tasks, as well as protecting healthcare workers by reducing their exposure to infected patients. Meanwhile, the Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital in Thailand is using 5G powered autonomous vehicles to deliver medical supplies around the site to reduce risks for hospital porters. 

5G can also play a role in enhancing physical security at facilities. At the Yongin Severance Hospital in South Korea, a 5G-powered facial recognition system has been installed to control security access onto wards.  The high bandwidth and low latency of 5G enables ultra high-definition video streams and the ability to more rapidly process data and grant entry to authorised individuals. This protects patients and staff, and significantly reduces the risk of infection compared to a fingerprint or badge system.