Emerging Technologies

Setting Realistic Expectations for 5G in Healthcare

Doctor looking at tablet with a woman and her daughter.

Much has been made of 5G’s entrance into the healthcare industry. Some proponents predicted 5G would be mainstream by 2020, while others touted that the latest technology standard for broadband cellular networks would expand the capabilities of such technologies as telehealth, remote patient monitoring, augmented reality and virtual reality. Thus far, two camps have emerged: one claiming that 5G is poised to be the network of the future, with the industry transitioning to a predominantly mobile-based platform, and the second claiming that 5G is an augmentation to a broader communication strategy. The truth is somewhere on the continuum between these two schools of thought, but likely closer to the latter.

HIMSS Market Insights conducted research in April 2021 among medical IT practitioner leaders to determine how 5G can help support remote patient care outside of a hospital setting.1 The research explored current technology concerns and how they are being addressed, the most critical forms of communication in providing patient care, improvements expected or seen while using 5G and how 5G can optimize remote patient care.