VA Palo Alto goes all in with full-spectrum 5G

VA Palo Alto Health Care System this week announced the deployment of a full-spectrum private 5G network.

The new 5G connectivity from Verizon will enable a wide array of new clinical innovations at the Department of Veteran Affairs facility, officials say. These could include augmented reality capabilities to help with pre-surgical guidance, virtual 3D X-ray vision with the incorporation of CT and MRI scans or virtual reality tools to help with medical education, allowing clinicians to learn from models of human organs.

Combined, these 5G systems utilize all three 5G frequency bands servicing the VA Palo Alto campus to deliver a next generation, campus-wide, full-spectrum, hybrid commercial and private 5G environment that will expand the 5G capabilities.

The combined 5G systems, with three frequency bands servicing the entire VA Palo Alto campus, create a full-spectrum, hybrid commercial and private 5G environment that will expand the 5G capabilities. That “exponentially greater bandwidth” will offer VA clinicians the ability to make much better use of massive and complex medical datasets, with cloud-based servers on the edge enabling AI-enabled clinical decision support tools.

Other use cases mentioned for the new network include “holographic teleportation enhancing clinical interactions at a distance” and expanded use of digital twin technology, according to Verizon.

The partnership – called Project Convergence – is led by VA’s National Center for Collaborative Health Care Innovation, which is working with Verizon to build out private 5G and mobile edge computing infrastructure.

Back in 2020, VA Palo Alto Health Care System made news as VA’s first 5G-enabled healthcare facility. This newest deployment was preceded by commercial in-building 5G systems spanning the entire Palo Alto facility, integrating Verizon 5G rooftop macro sites at the VA hospital that provide 5G services to the exterior of the campus.

This past month, Verizon Public Sector announced a nine-year expansion, worth more than $448 million of its existing partnership with the VA.

“Our goal is to provide the best and most advanced healthcare for our Veterans,” said Dr. Thomas Osborne, director of the National Center for Collaborative Healthcare Innovation and Executive Director for the VA Convergence Center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

“The capabilities and solutions we are deploying are designed to dramatically improve patient outcomes, and in doing so, will revolutionize care for our Veterans and around the world,” he said. “5G solutions enhance our current capabilities while giving us new opportunities to be forward-thinking with pioneering tools.”

“Data is always important, but it’s critical in healthcare settings,” added Verizon Business CEO Kyle Malady. “The speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G technology releases data, which in turn delivers unprecedented capabilities, reduces costs, and improves efficiencies so that the medical center can focus on clinical care and healthcare outcomes.”

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