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How to develop a 5G-based revolutionary system for health emergencies

An EU initiative has helped demonstrate a personalised 5G automatic system that reduces the time of action and minimises errors in emergency cases.

Digital Economy

5G is seen as a critical element in the digital economy and society. It will provide real-time data collection and analysis with virtually ubiquitous, ultra-high bandwidth and low latency connectivity – all with minimal delay. 5G infrastructure is expected to serve a wide range of applications and sectors like automated mobility, e-health and energy management. These involve vertical markets encompassing a group of companies and customers that are all interconnected around a specific niche. Such vertical markets address specialised needs with a diverse range of networking and computing requirements. Introduced to offer specific network capabilities tailored to the needs of vertical industries, the EU-funded 5G-TRANSFORMER project has helped develop a new system for 5G-based emergency plans. A news release by project coordinator Carlos III University of Madrid (UC3M) states: “The demo shows a 100% automatic system that allows to reduce the time of action and minimize errors, which implies a higher percentage of survival in emergency situations. The system allows personalized attention to have the patient’s medical data such as, among others, the pulse and blood test values.” It adds: “These values are shown in real time to the doctor in augmented reality glasses to facilitate their flow of decisions when attending to the patient. This allows a personalized diagnosis and emergency treatment to be fully customized, since conceptually the system could even have the patient’s medical history at that time.” Quoted in the same news release, Carlos J. Bernardos, associate professor at UC3M, says: “5G technology, thanks to its ability to dynamically adapt the network to meet demanding latency and capacity requirements (both in terms of bandwidth and computing), will be able to have a direct impact on society, improving response times to health emergencies.”

Tailored solution

The 5G-TRANSFORMER (5G-TRANSFORMER: 5G Mobile Transport Platform for Verticals) project ended in November 2019. Its goal was “to transform today’s mobile transport network into an SDN [software-defined networking]/NFV [network function virtualisation]-based Mobile Transport and Computing Platform (MTP),” targeting the specific needs of vertical industries, as noted in a project factsheet. SDN refers to a set of networking principles governed by the goals of creating a dynamic, flexible and scalable network through software-based management and configuration. NFV involves providing a new way to create, distribute and operate networking services. The 5G-TRANSFORMER project focused on the concept of network slicing, which paves the way to leveraging the potential of 5G. The basic idea behind this paradigm is to slice the original network architecture – the design of a computer network – into multiple logical and independent networks that are configured to effectively meet various services requirements. The project website explains: “A network slice is a complete logical network with specific services offered to customers over a shared compute, storage and network infrastructure. E.g. a network operator can build a network slice including an Access Network (AN) and a Core Network (CN) to enable communication services.” The main advantages of network slicing include greater elasticity, robustness, and secure and stable operations through the compartmentalisation of the network, optimised for the needs of the services or segment cluster that they serve. For more information, please see: 5G-TRANSFORMER project website

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