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Huawei: The first remote surgery with 5G

For many years, the medical profession has been relying on the best doctors to provide patients with access to more appropriate treatments and significantly more effective surgery. Telemedicine has always been considered a convenient and inexpensive way to bring together the best practitioners, wherever they are, around specific medical cases. Today, 5G makes all of this a reality!

The Chinese PLA General Hospital has successfully and remotely performed a surgical procedure involving the implantation of a “brain stimulator” into the brain of a patient with Parkinson’s disease. Developed jointly by China Mobile and Huawei, this is the first 5G-based remote surgery to have been performed in China.

At the end of this intervention, Dr. Ling Zhipei, expert in neurosurgery based on the island of Hainan, successfully implanted a “brain stimulator” in the cranial box of a patient. The operation was carried out at the premises of the Chinese PLA General Hospital; it consisted of remote remote control of arms provided with surgical instruments. During the intervention, an HD camera filmed and transmitted in real time the various video sequences.

Effective solution against Parkinson’s disease, implantation of a “brain stimulator” can significantly reduce the symptoms observed in a patient, This operation, which requires great precision, is to place a nerve stimulation electrode within the subthalamic nucleus which is located at the level of the deep brain.

Following the surgical procedure, which lasted no less than 3 hours and which could be performed remotely thanks to the 5G, limb tremor and muscle stiffness of the patient were visibly relieved, thanks to the permanent nerve reaction caused by the “brain stimulator”. The latter has been placed in the brain in a very precise manner, as indicated by the different MRI scans.

This operation represents a whole new advance in the medical field. It relies on remotely remote guidance of various surgical instruments, but also on consultations and on a remote ultrasound B. This opens a whole new chapter in the integration of new technologies into medicine. This achievement also promotes the rapid and sustainable development of the 5G network and its application in the field of telemedicine. In addition, it makes it possible to reduce medical costs effectively, thanks in particular to a reasonable allocation of very high quality medical resources.

But how can one remotely manage a surgical operation, from a location more than 3000 km from the hospital where the intervention took place?

It must be said that thanks to the high speed of the 5G, its wide bandwidth and its very low deadlines, this technology is indeed capable of guaranteeing irreproachable stability, but also a reliability and a faultless security, when a Surgical operation is performed remotely. The 5G also allows experts to control and supervise the entire surgical process, but also to inquire about the exact situation of the patient, at any time and in any place.

During the surgery, experts from two different locations were able to discuss together, via Huawei’s 4K HD videoconferencing system, the best surgical plan to follow. They were able to send each other, in a dynamic manner and in real time, all the data relating to the patient at their disposal. They also exchanged vital information related to the patient’s diagnosis, thanks to the high bandwidth and low delay of the 5G network.

During the operation, mechanical arms manipulating surgical instruments were remotely controlled using appropriate software, which allowed the operation to be completed and to improve the precision, efficiency and effectiveness of the instrument. medical guidance of the entire system.

“I often rotate between hospitals in Beijing and Hainan. But this time, a patient with Parkinson’s disease had to be operated while I was in Hainan. Unfortunately, for practical reasons, it was hardly possible to transfer this patient to Hainan. However, thanks to China Mobile’s 5G network, we were able to carry out the first 5G remote surgery in China. At this level, no video offset has been found, nor any other problem of any type, which is likely to be encountered when using a conventional 4G network for example. For us, it was a pleasant experience that was almost similar to a normal operation performed directly on the patient. Supported by the 5G network, top experts will now be able to perform remote surgeries on behalf of patients in particularly remote areas,” said Dr. Ling Zhipei of the First Medical Center and Hainan reporting to the Chinese PLA General Hospital.

The first hospital in China to use the 5G network to operate remotely, the Chinese PLA General Hospital is a pioneer of its kind. Such a medical and technological feat could also be realized thanks to the China Mobile Beijing operator, but also thanks to the Hainan hospital and the technologies developed by Huawei, thus laying a solid foundation for a better exploration and use of 5G in the field of telemedicine.

The base station, which allows Hainan Hospital and Chinese PLA General Hospital to benefit from very high speed 5G coverage, is subdivided into sub-metro-cellular substations, of which each 5G metro-cell adopts a band of frequency of 2.6 GHz. Thanks to key technologies such as large-scale multi-antenna, but also thanks to a new network architecture and a revolutionary method of coding, it is now possible to obtain a peak flow of 1G, with a speed transmission speed of 10 Gbps and a radio interface delay of less than 5 ms, providing ultra-fast rates for ultra-short delays.

The 5G indoor substations are adopting the new digital systems called Lampsite, which are based on the 4G/5G common mode. The 5G mode adopts a frequency band of 2.6 GHz, as well as a peak rate of 700 Mbps, which made it possible to guarantee the smooth running of the surgical operation.

With the latest 4T4R capacity they are equipped with, Huawei’s 5G indoor digital systems, available at China Mobile branches in Beijing and Hainan, support 100M throughput for a 2.6 GHz frequency band, coupled with a peak downlink rate of up to 1.65 Gbps. Compared to traditional indoor systems, the indoor 5G digital system is characterized by low volume, easy installation, high capacity, scalable support, and more.

According to Huawei’s tests at the China Mobile branches in Beijing and Hainan, the connection speed of the single-user network is more than enough to meet the requirements of 4K HD live video coverage. This connection also allows transmission without loss and without compression of X-rays and images of pathological sections; it thus offers the possibility of being able to perform remote surgical operations in an extremely precise manner. Such a telemedicine solution also offers an ideal option that can be deployed for patients who live in areas where there are no doctors.

Thanks to the power of 5G, telemedicine will experience, in the coming years, a rapid development and a much wider application. 5G will change our way of life, while benefiting the whole of society.

Huawei has always maintained close cooperation with all operators and industry partners: this 5G remote surgery operation is the best proof of this. Huawei is committed to building a smart world by contributing to greater interconnectedness of objects and people, while integrating artificial intelligence into all applications of everyday life and basing its approach on the latest technologies. science and technology.

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