WM5G working with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB) and BT showcased in June 2019 how 5G can transform healthcare and the emergency services – with the UK’s first demonstration of a remote-controlled ultrasound scan over a public 5G network.

The showcase brought the concept of a 5G Connected Ambulance to life and new technologies to front-line staff to create a facility for patients to be diagnosed and triaged in the most appropriate settings.

The demonstration showed how a paramedic – or any remote clinician – can carry out an ultrasound scan on a patient in the ambulance and relay the information in real-time to a consultant who may be miles away. Using mixed reality glasses and a haptic glove to create shared visual and sensory experience, the consultant can view and guide the examination, make an instant diagnosis of the condition and either advise the patient to seek non-emergency treatment or suggest they proceed rapidly to A&E. Following West Midlands 5G’s initial trials, BT and UHB have continued to collaborate to drive forward innovation and unlock the potential of 5G in health care.

Dr Tom Clutton-Brock of University Hospitals Birmingham, said: “Paramedics are an extraordinarily well trained and highly-skilled group of individuals, particularly in emergency care but ultrasound is not something they would do every day. So, this sort of extends the arm of a consultant in the hospital, all the way into the ambulance, and allows me or one of my colleagues to do an ultrasound in real time using the skills of a paramedic.”