The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) has been experimenting with 5G for the past nine months at a Palo Alto, CA hospital, the first 5G-boosted facility in the U.S., reported Nextgov. Now, additional medical facilities are under review for the expansion of 5G technology.
According to Dr. Ryan Vega, the executive director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Ecosystem, a letter of intent was recently signed approving the expansion of next-generation technology efforts. “I think the next decade is going to be incredibly exciting,” Vega told Nextgov.
Locations planned for 5G growth include Lake Nona, Florida, Seattle, Washington, and a campus-wide expansion of the Palo Alto hospital. The VA is working with Verizon, Microsoft, and Medivis to advance veteran care, known as Project Convergence.
Nextgov reported that officials believe that 5G could radically revolutionize the way VA hospitals provide care. “What we really wanted to do was to better understand how to actualize and operationalize that sort of technology, and in doing so, really learn how to augment some of the components that make 5G unique,” Vega added.
Verizon announced plans that will explore “how 5G can enhance connected healthcare and technology, autonomous mobility, smart communities, health and wellness, education, retail, and sports.” This aligns with the VA’s goal to incorporate “emerging health technology into clinical practice,” according to Vega.
The VA will announce more concrete plans for the expansion of Project Convergence in early 2021. The VA will identify additional sites for development in 2022, noted Vega.
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