For the first time ever doctors have performed 5G remotely-controlled surgery a cancerous tumor removed from a patient’s colon using 5G technology to direct the operation via a live video link.
The doctor, Antonio Maria de Lacy, was not performing the surgery himself, but was able to provide instant advice and guidance in real-time using a 5G video link from a congress center to a surgical team that operated on the patient about 5km away at the Hospital Clinic.
De Lacy then made use of his finger to draw on a screen to highlight an area of the patient’s body with nerve-rich tissue and instructed the team how to navigate the surgery.
“I am drawing with my hand on this screen, and at the same time on their screen,” he said. “Before 5G, we had to freeze the image to draw, but the surgeon is moving on and that is not ideal.”
“If you are going to do remote assisted surgery, you need to be almost there in person. You cannot have more than a couple of milliseconds latency. And that is where 5G technology comes in,” said Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA, mobile communications industry body that organizes the annual event.
For the future, experts predict that 5G technology will permit surgeons to control a robot arm to carry out operations in remote locations that lack specialist doctors. “This is a first step to achieve our dream, which is to make remote operations in the near future,” said de Lacy.