Airtel, Apollo Hospitals, and Cisco to showcase the future of healthcare

Monday May 2, 2022 at 3:18 pm

Bharti Airtel (or simply Airtel) is one of India’s premier communications solutions providers. It has recently partnered with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to create a 5G connected ambulance which has the potential to revolutionize access to healthcare and save lives in emergencies.

The demonstration for the same was conducted in the silicon valley of India, Bengaluru, using a 5G trial spectrum allotted to Airtel by India’s Department of Telecom.

The custom-designed and state-of-the-art 5G connected Ambulance was equipped with the latest medical equipment, various patient monitoring applications, and telemetry devices that transmitted the patient health data, including vitals, to the concerned Hospital in real-time. In addition, it was also equipped with various onboard cameras, including camera-based headgear and bodycams for paramedic staff. That helps the ER doctors make faster decisions and advise the paramedics in the Ambulance to administer required aid even while in transit. It also prepares the emergency staff to better manage the patient on arrival, thus saving precious time.

These were all connected to the ultra-fast & low latency Airtel 5G network, which will be further enabled with augmented reality or virtual reality technologies.

When a critical patient is en route to the Hospital, every saved second makes a difference. The 5G Connected Ambulance can act as a virtual extension of the emergency room in such cases and saves precious time.

Always connected to the Hospital, the high-speed, low latency 5G network will also relay the Geo-location of every single Ambulance to the hospital management to ensure that the nearest Ambulance reaches the patient to save the patient’s golden hour time.

With a real-time camera feed available, the paramedics already in an ambulance can use the cameras to collaborate with available ER doctors at the Hospital. The latter, in turn, are equipped with technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality to undertake basic procedures, if necessary. The doctors can also virtually guide the paramedic to carry out the process and save precious lives.

Ajay Chitkara commented, “5G is a transformational technology. That 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. We are delighted to deepen our partnerships with Apollo Hospitals and Cisco to bring some innovative use cases for the Indian market.” He is the director and chief executive officer at Airtel Business in Bharti Airtel.

Dr. Sangita Reddy added, “Apollo Hospitals have been evangelists of connected ambulances and using these to reduce mortality and utilize the Golden Hour to benefit 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. 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 percent absolute increase in mortality. Studies also indicate that pre-hospital time management should become a management objective. These insights propelled us to collaborate with Airtel on the 5G connected ambulance project and use 5G to utilize the disruption-free, lag-free connectivity it provides.” She is the joint managing director of Apollo Hospitals Group. “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 utilize the power of technology in healthcare for the benefit of patients.” She further added.