Ministry exploring 5G integration in healthcare


Interesting information: Fahmi (third from right) listening to a briefing during his visit to the teaching hospital’s high-tech operating room equipped with an integrated 5G network that is still under construction. — Bernama

OSLO: The idea of having a hospital equipped with an integrated 5G network and its emerging technologies is something Malaysia could leverage to enhance patient treatment and teaching capabilities, says Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

On Friday, the Minister visited Norwegian Radium Hospital here, where Norway’s telecommunications giant, the Telenor Group, showcased a dedicated 5G indoor solution and how, together with the hospital, they are innovating patient treatment and developing healthcare solutions for increased efficiency.

Fahmi said telecommunication service providers could engage in a private-public partnership if they are prepared to work together with hospitals to offer new services or to come up with new solutions.

“The kind of solutions they have here is to bring the hospital to the patients, not necessarily to take patients to the hospital, and the idea of having two networks – the conventional IP-based network and 4G/5G base network.

“There is a lot of thinking that went into this and I am very encouraged to see this kind of 5G use case being implemented here,” he told Bernama after the visit.

The 5G dedicated network, among other things, unleashes new opportunities like the Internet of Things (IOT) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions while providing a better overview of inpatients as well as faster access to test results for practitioners.

It also opens up the opportunity for future healthcare solutions, such as remote assisted surgery in teaching hospitals to enhance the learning experience and capabilities of medical practitioners.

Fahmi said he would raise the matter with Malaysia’s Higher Education Ministry and the Health Ministry to see what could be done.

Meanwhile, commenting on his working visit to Norway, Fahmi said that further engagement is needed with partners across the world, such as Telenor, to learn better ways of using new and emerging technologies.

“Overall, the visit here has been very eye-opening because many of the solutions that we see here are either on the verge of being implemented or already implemented.

“I also had the opportunity to learn more about Telenor’s operations and also the challenges ... the kind of opportunities that are presented.

“As a nation we must be open to these opportunities,” Fahmi said.

Meanwhile, Telenor senior vice president and deputy head of Asia, Hakon Bruaset Kjol, believes that the significance of 5G and the opportunities the technology brings is equally as important as developing strong public-private partnerships.

“This shows that 5G can be equally important for the public sector. The use cases we see today, for the hospital, also provide cost reduction and increased security around the data it gathers to treat its patients better,” he said.

Kjol also noted that the partnership that needs to be forged between the government and private industry as well as other players in the ecosystem is important.

This includes having open dialogue to ensure that we get the right regulations in place, he added.

“Telenor is happy to continue the dialogue initiated during the minister’s visit and share more of its solutions to the 5G network implementation in advanced markets in future, including through CelcomDigi Bhd,” he added.

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Fahmi Fadzil , Telenor Group , Radium Hospital , 5G , IoT

   

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