NTT Taps NEC's 5G Base Station for Remote Healthcare Field Trial

NTT Taps NEC's 5G Base Station for Remote Healthcare Field Trial Image Credit: NEC

NEC has provided a massive-element Active Antenna System (AAS) base station system as part of field trials carried out by NTT DOCOMO to test remote medical examinations using 5G.

Wakayama Prefecture is a mountainous, sparsely populated region of Japan, with limited access to advanced medical institutions. Moreover, the medical offices located there are often understaffed and doctors are frequently required to see patients who are outside of their expertise.

As part of this, NEC's AAS base station system supporting a 28 GHz band was set up to create a 5G wireless network. In this experiment, large-capacity 5G transmission enabled real time communication and sharing of images taken by a 4K close-up camera, high-definition echocardiographic (echo) video and MRI images using a 4K video conference system between Wakayama Medical University and Kokuho Kawakami Clinic.

Benefits of the experiment included the use of high-definition large-screen monitors, making it possible to easily view the condition of a subject in minute detail. Further, because of the realistic feeling of the reactions and expressions during a doctor's interview, it became possible to communicate with patients more personally, supporting the progress of the medical examinations and reducing the burden on medical staff and patients, said NEC.

NEC claims its massive-element AAS base station system adopts a fully digital control system, which improves the precision of beamforming. The fully digital control system enables simultaneous beamforming in multiple directions from a single massive-element AAS unit, which efficiently implements high-speed and high-capacity communication without interfering with adjacent users through spatial multiplexing.

Jun Mashino, Senior Research Engineer, 5G RAN Research Group, 5G Lab, NTT DOCOMO
However, these trials showed us that 5G can play a role in solving social issues, such as reducing regional disparities in the delivery of health care. 

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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