Vodafone Cuts Careful Path To 5G Surgery


Vodafone Business IoT healthcare lead Jon Lee-Davey backed the operator’s ability to eventually support remote surgery, but warned the regularly-cited 5G healthcare use case may still be some time from being a commercial reality.

Speaking to Mobile World Live as part of its  5G Themed Week programme, Lee-Davey said he believed from a technical perspective a lot of elements are in place to support it. But he cautioned a step-by-step approach was likely before it became a mainstream application, as with the use of wireless technology in other demanding fields.

“It’s a very challenging use case,” he explained, adding: “But as an experienced network operator, we feel we have the track record and the know-how to provide important components,” pointing to its experience in related projects such as supporting telementored surgery using AR and VR.

“We can look to other industries where similar innovation has taken a stepwise approach,” he noted. “For example, in the automotive industry, we haven’t immediately jumped to autonomous driving, it’s been step-by-step…with lane change assist [technology] taking place first, allowing us to learn and develop. We could probably see a similar situation in or around remote surgery.”

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