- Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health said it is working with AT&T to bring the latest mobile communications technology to clinical care, calling itself the first system to use standards-based 5G.
- The Chicago-based integrated network is currently deploying 5G technology throughout its system — taking advantage of AT&T's 5G network, cloud-based Multi-Access Edge Computing and other high-performance network technologies.
- With MEC, Rush will be able to manage cellular traffic over both local and wide area networks with the aim of improving communications, data processing needs and the patient experience, according to Tuesday's announcement.
5G technology promises faster speeds and holds potential for fewer delays and more reliable support for connected health technologies, including telehealth services. 5G will expand access to patients in rural areas, those requiring remote monitoring and seniors who want to age safety at home.
In a 2016 Brookings paper, author Darrell West said 5G has the potential to increase patient options for treatment, lower hospital and emergency room visits, enhance telehealth and cut medical costs. But realizing those gains will require investments in digital infrastructure, changes in reimbursement policy and improvements in data security and interoperability.
Rush says it is the first U.S. health system to use fifth-generation network technology.
Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and chief information officer at RUMC and Rush System for Health, called 5G a "game-changing technology" for hospital operations and patient care. "High-speed, low-latency 5G technology will help enable care to be delivered virtually anywhere at any time," he said in a statement. "The technology will enhance access to care, even from long distances, while also helping to decrease costs and improve efficiency."
In addition to network services, the Rush-AT&T collaboration will explore new ways mobile technology can be used to improve technology-driven treatments in use cases including medical devices and robotic surgery.