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In IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics

Worldwide up to May 2022 there have been 515 million cases of COVID-19 infection and over 6 million deaths. The World Health Organization estimated that 115,000 healthcare workers died from COVID-19 from January 2020 to May 2021. This toll on human lives prompted this review on 5G based networking primarily on major components of healthcare delivery: diagnosis, patient monitoring, contact tracing, diagnostic imaging tests, vaccines distribution, emergency medical services, telesurgery and robot-assisted tele-ultrasound. The positive impact of 5G as core technology for COVID-19 applications enabled exchange of huge data sets in fangcang (cabin) hospitals and real-time contact tracing, while the low latency enhanced robot-assisted tele-ultrasound, and telementoring during ophthalmic surgery. In other instances, 5G provided a supportive technology for applications related to COVID-19, e.g., patient monitoring. The feasibility of 5G telesurgery was proven, albeit by a few studies on real patients, in very low samples size in most instances. The important future applications of 5G in healthcare include surveillance of elderly people, the immunosuppressed, and nano- oncology for Internet of Nano Things (IoNT). Issues remain and these require resolution before routine clinical adoption. These include infrastructure and coverage; health risks; security and privacy protection of patients' data; 5G implementation with artificial intelligence, blockchain, and IoT; validation, patient acceptance and training of end-users on these technologies.

Moglia Andrea, Georgiou Konstantinos, Marinov Blagoi, Georgiou Evangelos, Berchiolli Raffaella Nice, Satava Richard M, Cuschieri Alfred