CES 2019: AT&T 5G to connect hospitals and stadiums

AT&T is working on hospital and stadium use cases for its newly launched 5G network, as well as announcing that it will be connecting Toyota and Lexus cars with LTE between 2019 and 2024.

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AT&T has announced at CES 2019 that it is working on 5G use cases across hospitals and stadiums, including signing a deal with Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health to create the "hospital of the future".

Rush, based in Chicago, encompasses multiple hospitals and healthcare providers across the city. It will utilise both AT&T's 5G network and its multi-access edge computing (MEC) cloud-based edge IT service environment, the carrier said.

This will allow the provider to manage cellular traffic over local and wide-area networks.

"We strongly believe 5G is a game-changing technology that when fully implemented will help us support better hospital operations as well as provide the highest-quality patient and staff experience," Rush University Medical Center and the Rush System for Health SVP and CIO Dr Shafiq Rab said.

"High-speed, low-latency 5G technology will help enable care to be delivered virtually anywhere at any time. The technology will enhance access to care, even from long distances, while also helping to decrease costs and improve efficiency."

Rab pointed to the use case of a doctor downloading an MRI scan within seconds while virtually tending to a patient.

AT&T and Rush will additionally look into using mobile technologies and connectivity for therapy, hospital operations, and patient experience, with the research to take place throughout 2019.

"Imagine a hospital where rooms are intelligently scheduled, patient care is enhanced with artificial intelligence, and augmented reality is used in training medical students," AT&T said.

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AT&T also announced that it will be connecting AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with its 5G network within the next few months.

"5G is expected to alter the in-stadium experience in dramatic, exciting ways by blurring the physical and digital experience in ways that are simply not possible on today's networks," AT&T SVP of Wireless Technology Igal Elbaz said.

AT&T's 5G network went live last month in parts of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio, and Waco.

Read also: AT&T 5G: Behind the scenes in Texas as the new mobile network goes live

The network will additionally go live across Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose in the first half of 2019.

CTO Andre Fuetsch in December told ZDNet that the launch involved working alongside Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Netgear at a "dramatically accelerated" timeline.

"We were pushing ourselves at speeds we've never done before, and the whole supply chain ecosystem that we're working with, we've never worked this fast with them before," Fuetsch told ZDNet.

AT&T to connect Toyota and Lexus vehicles

AT&T also used CES 2019 to announce that it will be providing LTE connectivity for millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles from 2019 through to 2024 to support connected car capabilities in the US.

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Working alongside KDDI, the cars will be fitted out with Wi-Fi hotspots; unlimited data plans from AT&T; connected services including remote start-up, remote diagnostics, Destination Assist for navigation systems, and Safety Connect for 24/7 emergency help.

"With this type of connected technology, we'll be delivering new, convenient and predictive experiences to our customers," Toyota Motor North America VP Steve Basra said.

"This Global Communications Platform, together with Toyota's Mobility Services Platform, will also help us drive and achieve our vision of Mobility for All."

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