5G technology connects police and doctors in emergency situations

Trial of new system allows health professional provide officer with real-time assistance, including high-quality sound and images 

Image of a moment of the pilot test on the use of 5G technology in health on February 18, 2020 in Sabadell. (By: Norma Vidal)
Image of a moment of the pilot test on the use of 5G technology in health on February 18, 2020 in Sabadell. (By: Norma Vidal) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 18, 2020 07:59 PM

'5G First Responders' is a new system that uses 5G connectivity to give first responders, such as police or firefighters, real-time medical assistance at the site of an emergency.

A trial of the system was carried out on Tuesday, in a simulation in which a police officer provided emergency assistance to a child supposedly having an epileptic attack.

Taking place in the city of Sabadell, near Barcelona, the police officer was able to use a 5G device that allowed him to receive remote, real-time assistance from a pediatrician.

The system, which will allow first responders to deal with emergency situations before an ambulance can arrive, is expected to be deployed everywhere in Catalonia by 2025.

The initiative is the result of a joint project by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Sabadell's Parc Taulí health consortium, Cisco, Orange, and Ericson, with support from the Sabadell city council and the Catalan government.

The head-mounted device allowing the officer to connect with the doctor is called RealWear HMT, and was developed by US technology company, Cisco.

As it uses 5G technology to establish a connection, the RealWear HMT device allows for the speedy transfer of high-quality video and audio in real time.

 "An important step forward"

 "It's an important step forward because not only can you learn how the patient is when explained over the phone, but you can actually see with your own eyes," said Luís Rentar, pediatrician and promoter of the the 5G First Responders project.

 The device uses voice commands, allowing the first responder to use both hands when assisting the patient, while the health professional can share graphic data, such as notes.

 In short, the system allows the health professional to make a diagnosis before the ambulance arrives, speeding up the treatment of the patient when they get to the hospital.

 Rentar points out that apart from the police, the device will also be useful for other security and emergency personnel, such as members of the Civil Protection agency.