IoT Healthcare Potential Highlighted in First-ever Remote Brain Operation


In China, the Internet of Things was being used to heal a disease as a brain surgery using IoT was done successfully in the PLA Hospital in Beijing / Photo by: PQ77wd via Wikimedia Commons


The life-changing potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), when adopted in healthcare, was demonstrated in the success of the world's first remote brain surgery operation on a Parkinson's patient in Hainan, China.

Chief physician Ling Zhipei of the People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing conducted the operation that took over three hours and involved the fitting of deep brain stimulation (DBS) implant, according to an IoT News report.

The report also stated that despite being based 3,000 kilometers away from where the procedure took place, Ling was still able to remotely manipulate the instruments. It added that the use of a 5G network was what made the surgery possible. Earlier generations of the network were not reliable enough and the massive latency would've made the operation too dangerous due to delays between action and response.

"I take turns working in Beijing and Hainan, and the operation took place during my Hainan rotation. A patient with Parkinson's in Beijing needed surgery and couldn't fly to Hainan," the physician said, according to a video posted by New China TV.

He added that the 5G network solved technical problems, such as video lag and remote-control delay that they experienced with a 4G network. It also ensured an almost real-time operation. The 5G network used in the operation was set by China Mobile with the use of Huawei's technology.

IoT News said the implications of the operation is that remote operations will, one day, allow patients in rural regions to gain access to the best healthcare and doctors not just from their country, but also from other corners of the world.

“We hope in the future we can take advantage of the 5G network to enable more hospitals to carry out remote surgery. In this way, more patients will be able to receive treatment at their local hospitals," Ling said.