China-based network and telecommunications provider, Huawei Technologies Company has began the provision of smart services and the fifth generation (5G) technology to human uses industries like healthcare, finance and educational industries.
The action is seen by many industry analysts as a move by Huawei to create new revenue streams in a bid to offset the damage to its smartphone business from U.S. sanctions.
The company had in the southern city of Guangzhou teamed up with the Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital to equip it with 5G technology, with more than 10,000 smart devices that have the capacity to collect and transmit real-time health data from patients to doctors and nurses to improve patient care.
The fifth-generation network, also known as 5G, an ultra-fast wireless technology replacing the current mainstream technology 4G, has little lag time, is faster and has the ability to support a massive number of smart devices connected to the internet simultaneously and the Huawei brand is latching on this to expand its market.
Huawei, the multinational technology corporation is the largest supplier of 5G technology equipment in the world, while it was briefly the world’s largest smartphone maker in 2020 when it surpassed Samsung.
But Huawei in the wake of the United States sanctions has been restricted from having computer chips needed for its smartphones production, with the company last month forecasting that its smartphone revenue could drop as much as $40 billion — or about 80% — this year.
The company, taking cognizance of this, has decided to provide 5G technology and services for the healthcare, finance and education industries in a bid to increase its revenue.
The Director Huawei’s Smart Hospital Business Division in China, Guo Zizhong has this to say about the company’s 5G interest:
“We all know that 5G, compared to the previous generations of communication technologies, has the three characteristics of large bandwidth, low latency, and massive connections. In fact, when it comes to the adaptation of the three characteristics, the medical field is a very good match with them among industries in all walks of life.”
The Guangzhou hospital, located in a city of over 15 million people, makes use of various smart technologies, including a 5G ambulance fitted with medical devices and cameras to transmit data and footage in real time, giving doctors the opportunity to make better diagnoses as patients are in transit to the hospital so that they can be treated immediately they arrive.
For instance, heart monitors would have been previously removed to upload data from patients, and then checked by doctors.
“With real-time (monitoring), we are able to learn about what’s going on with a patient’s heart rate and can immediately give instructions on what to do,” said He Yongcong, a doctor in the hospital’s department of cardiovascular medicine.
The progress and speed of intravenous infusions in real time and in smart wristbands that can be used as emergency alert devices can be monitored with the use of 5G technology, thereby allowing nurses monitor patients from the comforts of their homes, while preparing infusions and medications ahead of time instead of constantly checking patients at their bedsides.
“With the application of the 5G network, we’re now able to save a lot of time in routine work,” said Chen Xiaofang, a nurse at the hospital.
Experts are of the believe that even if 5G could be used to collect data and make many industries technologically smarter, the technology needs to be more cost-effective.
An associate research director at research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Cui Kai believes construction costs and expensive devices and accessories are preventing widespread adoption.,
“Some policy guidance and support may be needed to help 5G develop rapidly. In the mid-term, we believe that (the development of) 5G still depends on the cost,” Cui said.
For 5G technology to become popular, there must be a range of technology services offered for different industries, Cui said.
“Only (then) . . . can we drive the development of digital transformation of the entire society.”