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Lisbon, Decemberr 11th 2019

Vodafone, Altran and the Red Cross show how 5G will help medical teams in emergency situations

Vodafone Portugal, Altran Portugal and the Portuguese Red Cross held today a 5G demonstration on healthcare, showing how the mobile network of the future will help medical teams in emergencies. The event was held in Cascais and proved, once again, the potential of the fifth generation network, as well as the readiness of the Vodafone network for the launch of 5G in Portugal.

To show how 5G can be decisive in helping to save lives, the demonstration simulated urgent medical care for a stroke victim. In this simulation, when leaving the ambulance, the pre-hospital emergency technician puts on HoloLens glasses, which transmit everything they see and say to the doctor. In turn, the doctor sends information and procedures from the hospital, which are made available in augmented reality in the glasses, enabling a much more specialized and real-time assistance.

Inside the ambulance, the existence of a ultra-high definition (4k) 360º video camera, the integration of a Philips equipment that allows for the monitoring of vital signs and the existence of a facial recognition technology (which, after being processed in the cloud, provides information about the patient) are what lets the doctor, even from afar, guide the pre-hospital emergency technician and monitor the victim in detail, thereby obtaining a much quicker and efficient diagnosis and treatment.

In the future, operations like this will only be possible thanks to the distinctive features of 5G, namely low latency, high resilience and higher bandwidth. These make it possible to process large volumes of data (in this case very heavy images) and send them in real time, continuously and without communication failures.

“The next generation of mobile networks will play a transformational role in society. With the mobile network of the future, new areas will emerge which until now have not been addressed by mobile telecommunications. 5G will be the enabler for the emergence of pioneering services and in healthcare there are many possibilities beyond a connected ambulance such as telemedicine or remote surgery”, says João Nascimento, CTO at Vodafone.

“5G is one of Altran's big bets, as we believe this technology will contribute to progress in Portuguese society. This is an extraordinary example of how 5G can help the Red Cross in its daily mission. Altran intends to support all industries in developing business solutions, using 5G as a guiding principle for efficiency and innovation. If in this process we can save lives, we are surely on the right track”, adds Bruno Casadinho, COO at Altran.

This 5G demonstration occurred at the beginning of the Big Impact 48 hours hackathon, an entrepreneurship competition promoted by Vodafone and Cascais City Council, which this year seeks innovative projects that, through technology, benefit society in every aspect: social, technological, economic and environmental.

The three winners of the competition are announced the day after tomorrow, on the 13th. This is followed by a nine-month development period for each pilot project, which will have to be ready to be presented and tested by September 2020. All winners will be supported by partners in the development, experimentation and launch phase, to ensure the winning ideas are a success.