Here, Dr. Scott Boden, Cat Schmitz, James Lewis and Dr. Frank Tong, who work every day at the intersection of technology and health care, explore how Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband could help generate new, innovative health-care solutions.
Identify Pain Points
But health care is also complicated. It takes a village of providers and stakeholders to deliver quality care, ranging from nurses and doctors to regulators, insurers and technologists who each have different approaches, incentives, systems and backgrounds. “Health care, as an industry, really lags behind in the adoption of digital technology into the workflow to make things better for patients and easier for providers,” says Dr. Scott Boden, chair of Orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine and vice president of Business Innovation, Emory Healthcare. “Innovation is more challenging and more complex.”
Improving the health care system is a societal imperative. The industry tends to the health and sickness of our global population, and its outcomes are tied to lives and deaths. Fortunately, in our era of exponential technological growth, new tools and capabilities offer the potential to move health care forward.
Future of Health Care
The listen-first approach ensures that 5G-enabled technologies aren’t developed in a silo, where critical shortcomings can be less evident. That’s why the partnership between Verizon, Emory Healthcare and 11TEN Innovation Partners focuses on Demand-Driven Innovation .
Demand-Driven Innovation starts with a problem first. It might seem obvious, but when new tools become available, the process can work in reverse if the technology is the focus rather than the problem it’s solving. “We’ve seen people try to solve a problem without consulting the patients and physicians and the other staff,” Boden says. “You end up with solutions that are clunky, because they weren’t developed hand-in-hand with the end user.”
Collaborate on Solutions
Getting the right people in the room to weigh in when needed is where an organization like 11TEN is especially helpful. The innovation studio works with partners to identify problems and then ensures the appropriate perspectives are involved to develop a solution. The 11TEN team worked with Verizon and
Once innovators have a firm understanding of the landscape and the prominent obstacles, the hard work of development can begin. For a concept designer like Schmitz, the goal is to inspire motion — she works at the very early stages and aims to inspire experts to think about the possibilities. “We create a concept and make a prototype around it to communicate the vision and the promise of what the future could be like,” she says. “This is the first gut check and the chance to ask, ‘Is this something that, with a lot of hard work, we could bring into the world one day?’”
The AngioCloud platform was co-invented by Dr. Frank Tong, AngioCloud’s chief medical officer and associate professor of radiology and neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine. Tong specializes in brain aneurysms and uses a hardwired workstation that takes 120 different images of a patient’s head to create a 3D data set. That data set then helps physicians plan the treatment and identify the specifications of the device they’ll need to implant to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing.
The problem is that they can’t transfer the data anywhere. It’s stuck in the outdated, hardwired workstation. “The only place I can actually view this 3D dataset is physically in the angio suite,” Tong says, referencing the current imaging workstation at Emory. “We need HIPAA-compliant, remote access to the data from the operating room, clinic, office or for a consulting physician.”
“In the next two-to-three years, this technology will start to roll out, become ubiquitous and disrupt even the indie filmmaker,” Shamlin says. “You're going to see cameras that are 5G-enabled, where you'll record straight to the cloud. You're going to edit in the cloud. You'll do distributed visual effects in the cloud. All through 5G connections. Independent filmmakers will be able to tap into technologies that even the big guys are using.”
Doctors use 5G-powered AR technology to visualize the internal anatomy of a patient.
The Verizon 5G Lab team demonstrates an early-stage fall prevention prototype, which uses 5G-enabled computer vision to identify patients at risk of a fall before it occurs.
When the process of innovation is fine-tuned and all partners operate in lockstep, incredible progress can result. Case in point: the company AngioCloud, where Lewis serves as chairman, which takes powerful imaging technology and deploys it from the cloud, expanding the access and effectiveness of intricate, 3D radiology scans.
With so many different entities involved, the first step to effectively innovating health care is listening to the concerns of each partner and patient. Especially considering the complexity and seriousness of the work, it’s essential to have a multifaceted perspective for a relative outsider.
“Designing for health care is about sitting with people who are going through that specific experience,” says Cat Schmitz, a concept designer at Verizon’s 5G Lab. “You need to talk to the nurses and talk to the doctors and read the literature in order to get it right.”
Listening to Health-Care Providers and Patients
Building a Shared Reality
Infrastructure Catches Up to Innovation
Courtesy of Medivis
Courtesy of Verizon 5G Lab
To introduce a new technology into that workstream and improve outcomes takes a specialized, considered approach. Utilizing a powerful new tool like Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband requires careful research, rigorous testing and multi-party validation.
Incredible advances can be made when the approach is fine-tuned and the right people are brought together in the right place at the right time with the right tools. Mobile 3D imaging, intelligent video analysis to aid nurses and hospital staff, and remote care delivery that doesn’t feel remote could all become possible when health-care experts and 5G specialists work together.
Emory Healthcare to build the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub, a unique lab powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband that brings together health-care professionals. “Once we understand the problems, we bring those problems into the lab, where we design comprehensive solutions,” says James Lewis, CEO and co-founder of 11TEN. “We can scope Verizon’s 5G technology into the breadth and depth of projects to bring them to life.”
The multitude of partners creates what Lewis calls a “validation ecosystem” where every entity is involved in the development of a new tool, ensuring there are no gaps or crucial shortcomings. For someone like Boden, that validation is critical. “We have corporate partners across all of these different segments of health care, sitting in a room together now with enabling technologies, 5G and data.”
AngioCloud solves that by providing a platform for others to access that depersonalized data from anywhere. But to fully achieve its vision, AngioCloud will need the power of a 5G network to shift the processing load from the hardwired workstation to the cloud, and to allow for the massive amounts of data transfer between the platform and the user: a 5G network like the one in use at the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub, where AngioCloud was born and incubated.
AngioCloud is just one example of what can happen when 5G technology meets health care. Concept designers like Schmitz are constantly identifying other opportunities for progress, from preventing falls in hospitals to managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes. New needs continue to materialize, like temporary field hospitals that don’t have a wired infrastructure but would benefit greatly from a 5G connection. And ecosystems like the one at Emory continue to grow and add new partners.
Despite its complexity and gravity, the health care system is still ripe for technological progress. As long as passionate people from various fields continue to collaborate, the world’s collective health can only continue to improve.
Courtesy of Emory Healthcare
The Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub in Atlanta, GA
In partnership with other doctors, patient representatives, system administrators and technology companies including Verizon within the carefully curated ecosystem at Emory, projects like AngioCloud can continue to progress and eventually reach clinicians in the not-too-distant future.
of Business Innovation
Verizon’s 5G Lab
Radiology and Neurosurgery
Emory University School of Medicine
DR. FRANK TONG
CEO and Co-Founder