5G’s increased bandwidth and reduced latency supports multiple technologies and services at the same time, over the same network. For the NHS, video streaming and the sharing of medical imagery in real-time enables long distance consultations, training, collaboration and support – driving efficiency, reducing costs and pollution associated with travel, and ensuring patients are seen in a timely manner, in an environment that suits them. In medical manufacturing or logistics, 5G allows for more accurate tracking, monitoring and remote development of vaccines, gene therapies, cancer treatments and other vital medicines.
In social care, 5G supports the many sensors that are used for care workers to monitor welfare and health in the community for both patients and the vulnerable. This ensures essential services can not only continue as 2G, 3G and analogue connectivity is phased out, but also be expanded to support medication adherence, predictive monitoring and tools to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Overall, 5G’s capabilities will support a broad-scale decentralisation of health and social care, as services shift from primary care settings towards a more distributed, preventative-focused model of care.