The technology sector is home to many different innovative ideas. Although not all of these concepts will translate into viable projects or business ideas, exploring all options at one’s disposal is always an option. In China, engineers attempted to perform remote surgery over a 5G mobile data connection. Surprisingly, this approach worked out quite well.
Taking Remote Surgery to a new Level
Vast advancements in medical practices and surgeries allow for an improved overall healthcare system. Without modern technology, a lot of surgical procedures wouldn’t even be possible today. Most of these breakthroughs come forth from experimenting with bold ideas and seeing what sticks. Remote surgery is another new field of expertise currently being explored through various means and concepts.
Over the past few years, remote surgery has become slightly more commonly used. It is a viable approach to dealing with certain procedures which do not necessarily require a surgeon to be present at the premises itself. Although this will not necessarily apply to all medical procedures, there are numerous options waiting to be explored. Unfortunately, this approach will only work if there is a stable internet connection in place.
As the name suggests a remote surgery usually involves the manipulation of instruments from a remote location. Without a proper internet infrastructure, that approach is not viable, as it could put patients’ lives in danger. To ensure that won’t become an issue, new options need to be explored in terms of overall connectivity. Chinese experts are currently doing exactly that.
In a recently conducted trial, China successfully performed a remote surgery by using 5% data connectivity. The upgrade to 5G is widely concerned to be a pretty big breakthrough which will unlock a lot of potential use cases in the future. While most people wouldn’t necessarily consider using this technology for remote surgeries, it seems the approach is viable. An initial trial resulted in removing the liver of a lab test animal by controlling robotic surgical arms over 5G.
This experiment was not without risks, though. Initial concerns regarding the “lag’ introduced between the surgeon controlling the arms and the action being executed were put to rest quite easily. It appears the procedure resulted in a lag of just 0.1 seconds, which is perfectly acceptable for this specific procedure. Further improvements can be achieved in this regard, although these results are promising in their own regard.
The main question is whether or not this approach will help reduce the risk of deadly medical mistakes. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the remote surgery concept, regardless of which advancements are achieved in the process. The use of 5G-enabled remote surgery may become more feasible in the future, albeit further experiments and trials are required first and foremost.