Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industry’s pursuit of the many promises offered by connected patients, connected caregivers, and connected hospitals. While the goals of this transformation are many and varied, a recent HIMAA Media survey revealed the top four as:Seeking improved quality of care (68%);Delivering better clinical outcomes (54%);Improving communications and care coordination (54%); andReducing readmission rates (42%).Key obstacles preventing attainment are limited budget (53%), privacy/security concerns (47%) and clinical resistance to the adoption of digital technologies (43%).The promise of connected healthcare, however, is being leveraged today by Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health in Chicago. This system, which encompasses multiple hospitals and healthcare providers across the city, is using both AT&T’s 5G network and its multi-access edge computing (MEC) cloud-based edge IT service environment. Working with Rush, AT&T Business is helping to deliver on the connected healthcare promise through 5G technologies by expanding telemedicine, delivering near real-time remote healthcare monitoring and delivering a capability to transmit large imaging files quickly. According to Anthem, 86% of doctors say wearables, which are a common type of remote monitoring, increase patient engagement with their health. Additionally, wearables are predicted to decrease hospital costs by 16% in the next five years.With 5G, healthcare systems can enable mobile networks to handle telemedicine appointments, which can significantly increase the reach of the program. When healthcare systems utilize this technology, patients can often get treated sooner and have access to specialists otherwise not available. It can also allow doctors and other staff members to collaborate more efficiently. According to a study by Market Research Future, this is a crucial need because the telemedicine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.5% from 2017 to 2023.

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