Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has partnered with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to create a 5G connected ambulance that transforms access to healthcare and saves lives in emergency situations. The demonstration was conducted in Bengaluru over the 5G trial spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom.
The custom-designed state-of-the-art 5G connected ambulance is equipped with the latest medical equipment, patient monitoring applications, and telemetry devices that transmit the patient health data to the hospital in real-time. In addition, it is also equipped with onboard cameras, camera-based Headgear, and Bodycams for paramedic staff – all connected to the ultra-fast & low latency Airtel 5G network. It will be further enabled with technologies like AR/VR, the company said.
When a critical patient is enroute to the hospital and every second makes a difference, the 5G connected ambulance acts as an extension of the emergency room and enables connectivity to the hospital and the high-speed, low latency 5G network relays the Geo-location of every ambulance to the hospital’s command centre to ensure the nearest ambulance reaches the critical patient to save the patient’s golden hour time.
Also, the ambulance transmits the patient’s complete telemetry data, including vitals, in real-time to doctors and experts at the hospital. This allows the doctors at ER to make faster decisions and advise the paramedics in the ambulance to administer required aid while on the move. It also prepares the hospital staff to better manage the patient on arrival and save precious time.
Real-time camera feed
With real-time camera feed available, the paramedics in an ambulance can use the cameras to collaborate with the ER doctors at the hospital who are equipped with technologies like AV/VR to undertake basic procedures, if necessary. The doctors can virtually guide the paramedic to carry out the procedure and save precious lives.
“5G is a transformational technology, and this is yet another demonstration by Airtel as to how collaborations can unlock the potential of digital platforms for the good of humanity. Healthcare is one of the most promising use cases for 5G, and we are delighted to deepen our partnerships with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to bring some innovative use cases for the Indian market,” said Ajay Chitkara, Director & CEO, Airtel Business, Bharti Airtel.
“Apollo Hospitals have been evangelists of connected ambulances and using these to reduce mortality and utilise the Golden Hour to the benefit of patients. The criticality of the ‘Golden hour’ is well known. It can mean the difference between life and death for seriously ill or trauma patients in an emergency. The Golden hour is impacted by the facilities in an ambulance and the distance from the Hospital,” said Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group.
She further explained that studies show that an increased journey distance to the Hospital is associated with an increased risk of mortality, with a 10‐km increase in straight‐line distance associated with around a 1 per cent absolute increase in mortality. Studies also indicate that pre-hospital time management should become a management objective.
These insights propelled Apollo Hospitals Group to collaborate with Airtel on the 5G connected ambulance project and use 5G in order to utilise the disruption-free, lag-free connectivity it provides.
“This will help save many lives as timely treatment can be started even in the Ambulance itself. The 5G connected ambulance is testament to Apollo Hospitals’ commitment to utilise the power of technology in healthcare for the benefit of patients,” added Reddy.
“Cisco’s partnership with Airtel, through our Country Digitisation Acceleration programme, is a step towards bringing the immense possibilities of 5G to life by improving the performance of critical-care applications.
5G will be a game-changer in enabling new use cases and improving efficiency across every industry and specifically in the healthcare sector, as 5G will arm doctors with actionable insights to augment patient monitoring and treatment,” said Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director, Service Provider Business, Cisco India & SAARC.