At least one doctor within Wuhan has already died from the respiratory disease after treating patients, with the coronavirus having exceeded the number of cases in the 2003 SARS outbreak within months.
However, Chinese telco China Telecom and networking equipment firm ZTE have now used 5G to facilitate remote diagnosis of the virus within the West China Hospital of Sichuan University.
The equipment created an indoor 5G network allowing doctors to access high-quality video live-streams of patients, meaning those in rural locations can access specialist opinions, and meaning expert physicians can diagnose and treat a higher number of patients without having to travel.
Additionally, the partnership supports a huge number of network connections, meaning more patients can access support.
ZTE now plans to expand the system to provide remote diagnostics to another 27 hospitals, before expanding to support further connections in the Sichuan province.
Among those hospitals, ZTE is developing a network for Lei Shen Shan Hospital in Wuhan. It’s expected this connection will allow 25,000 people to access and provide medical support.
Other groups like Alibaba Health and Pingan Good Doctor have offered their online health care services to people living in Wuhan and across China, in a bid to take some of the strain from the local hospitals and provide preliminary diagnoses.
Myongji Hospital in South Korea has also enlisted the services of robots to treat and diagnose patients.
The RP-Live V2 robot allows specialists from various fields to remotely examine the patient together, while reducing the risk of further spread.
The global telemedicine market is expected to be worth more than US$130 billion (AU$193 billion) by 2025, up from just US$38 billion in 2018 thanks in part to 5G technology powering remote contact.
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