Last week, world-renknown doctor Antonio de Lacy instructed a surgical team at a hospital three miles away over a 5G connection for the first time ever. While surgical telementoring has existed for years, the showcase at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona demonstrated the application of new, lightning-fast connectivity to the medical field. According to AFP, the 5G connection de Lacy used had a lag time of only .01 seconds. This allows information to be transmitted almost instantly, and is a huge step up from 4G wireless network, which has latency period of .27 seconds.
“I am drawing with my hand on this screen, and at the same time on their screen,” de Lacy said during the demonstration. “Before 5G, we had to freeze the image to draw, but the surgeon is moving on and that is not ideal.” Now, medical professionals will have the ability to relay information in real-time.
But the application of 5G connectivity extends far beyond surgical telementoring. It opens a complete new doorway for remote-controlled surgeries performed by robots—a technology that would make crucial operations accessible to many more patients.
“This is a first step to achieve our dream,” said de Lacy, “which is to make remote operations in the near future.”