A team of WA doctors associated with the Curtin Medical School road-tested the 5G network with a team of specialists at a Nanjing hospital to see just how good it could be in aiding diagnostic decisions from vast distances.
Paediatrician Dr Jill Orford told Medical Forum that the exercise was not only effective but exciting as well.
Jill, who engages regularly with telehealth with her rural patients here, said the quality of the images was very good and a big improvement on the current network.
The Perth-based team was Dr Daniel Xu who acted as interpreter, Jill and Adj/Prof Joshua Dass, who is head of radiation at SCGH.
They were working with director of the Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s radiology department, Dr Wang Zhongqiu, Director of the Accelerated Rehabilitation Surgery Dr Jiang Zhiwei, and Director of Neurosurgery, Dr Gao Juemin.
Jill said the Perth team discussed the diagnosis and potential treatment of a 40 year-old person with a brain tumour.
One of the significant differences in treatments offered between Nanjing and Perth was the cost structure. When it was suggested by the Perth team that a fine needle aspiration before surgery would be a good idea, the Chinese team said that the cost would burdensome for the patient and their family.
The 5G technology – an advanced and secure form of video conferencing suitable for medical cases – enabled the international team to discuss the case, transmitting their responses to one another in a millisecond.