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World’s first 5G operation at Mobile World Congress

This new technology, showcased on the third day of the industry trade fair, would connect experts to surgeons in the OR

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27 February 2019 05:21 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

As a surgeon in the operating room, being able to not only communicate immediately but also share what they see with an expert on hand—this futuristic scenario is now a real possibility, showcased for the first time ever at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress.

“First step” towards a “dream,” says doctor

A 5G connection would allow for a connection without any lag, essential in important operations—in this case, a laparoscopic surgery to remove part of the large intestine.

Carried out in conjunction with Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic center and presented at the fairgrounds by the head of Gastrointestinal Surgery of the facility, Antonio de Lacy, the event connected directly with the surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists in the Barcelona OR.

Dr. De Lacy deemed this as the “first step” for the “dream” of remote surgery, one which he envisions will “not only allow to direct” the doctors and nurses, “but also to move the instruments used in the operating room.”

5G ambulance presented by Catalan authorities

This year’s congress, the world’s largest industrial fair on all things mobile and touching as well on the internet of things, 5g, as well as automotive and robotics technology, features over 2,400 exhibitors from 200 countries.

While focused on the international, one can also find a pavilion dedicated to Catalan business on the fairgrounds, where one can also find government-backed ambulance connected to 5G.

The ambulance has three hi-res cameras that use the technology, with one of them installed inside so that the medics can call on the help of a specialist in real time should it be needed. Even though Catalonia will have to wait until 2021 until 5G is widely available, the Catalan government is already aiming to turn the country into a hub for this new technology.

Other medical advances presented at the fair include a bronchial tree GPS, as well as a device to help fine-tune Parkinson’s medication.

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  • CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona Carlos Grau speaks at the conference before the first 5G tele-mentored live surgery on February 27 2019 (Mar Vila)

  • CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona Carlos Grau speaks at the conference before the first 5G tele-mentored live surgery on February 27 2019 (Mar Vila)