Another visible industry is the medical one. Telemedicine has become disruptive for many hospitals. However, certain areas of the field haven’t been fully developed due to latency problems.
Being able to manipulate something remotely, during telesurgery, for example, entails both, high bandwidth and low latency.
As long as both doctor and patient don’t move, wifi and fiber optic connections should suffice. Nonetheless, in most circumstances, neither doctor nor patient is static. 5G bridges this gap, allowing high mobility for both of them. It uproots the problem and provides for ubiquitous remote care.
The big picture: Bringing low latency to mobile medical devices is also a game changer. Not long ago, I argued how disruptive Apple’s Series 4 Smartwatch could be. An increasing pool of predictive wearable medical devices paired with low latency transmissions could translate to a new paradigm of real-time medical care. Better response means fewer patients physically going to primary care units. The impact will be massive. Power will move towards those that own the integration point with the patient. In this case, organizations like Apple.
5G will also have significant ramifications in the field of robotics. We’re fast approaching a world that’s transitioning from dummy to semi or fully autonomous robots.
Many of these semi-autonomous machines, require remote-handling mechanisms. To keep latency to a minimum, most of these robots need to stick to local networks, reducing their mobility and flexibility.
With 5G deployments, we’ll be able to control remote robots in real-time. Robots that don’t need to stick to their local network anymore. Again, low latency allows for robots to be deployed in contexts and backgrounds that we can’t now. The Avatar dream will finally become real.