On 29 September 2020, the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) officially established the 5G Healthcare Sub-Working Group. Based on the current and future development trends and application requirements of 5G healthcare technologies, the mission of the sub-working group is to complete the planning of the 5G healthcare management standards system, and to promote research and development work of relevant standards. Particular emphasis will be put especially on the formulation of fundamental standards, terminal standards, internet standards, and security standards for 5G healthcare, with the aim to provide support to the development of the intelligent healthcare industry and to the establishment of a healthcare service model and system with a full life cycle, bountiful application and complete structure.
5G healthcare refers to leveraging the role of 5G mobile communication technology to (i) maximise the utilisation and impact of the limited medical human and equipment resources available; and at the same time (ii) expand the provision of digital, mobile and remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment services by large hospitals. 5G healthcare can also increase the creativity of intelligent healthcare applications, save hospital operating costs, promote the sharing of medical resources at all levels, improve medical efficiency and diagnosis, overcome the difficulties that many patients face in receiving adequate medical treatment, and contribute to poverty alleviation in remote areas.
To date, China still faces institutional barriers for the deep integration of 5G technology and healthcare application – for instance strict regulatory requirements for innovative medical devices, terminal device access, data format unification, and application data transmission. Furthermore, 5G healthcare has many application possibilities, each of them having widely different network requirements. Since no concrete specifications have been made so far to regulate 5G healthcare internet requirements, currently there is particular urgency to: (i) incorporate the application features of the healthcare industry; (ii) formulate, implement and apply the 5G standards system within the medical industry; (iii) standardise the 5G technical structure and content for the medical industry, meeting the demands of the industry; and (iv) continuously improve and optimise the standardisation of the technical system. The aim is to promote the coordinated development of technological innovation, product R&D, standards formulation, experimental verification, intellectual property disposal, and application.
Drafted by Ming