AT&T has delivered 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies across the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, under its partnership with the department, the company reported on Tuesday. AT&T’s MEC has delivered a computer and cellular network architecture to provide real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to latency dependent mobile applications.
“AT&T has installed a full 5G Distributed Antenna System (DAS) encompassing the entire Seattle VA Medical Center… This 5G system allows for increased carrier speeds and provides the next generation of cellular and mobility technology for both veterans and staff,” said Daniel Mesimer, director, WAN/LAN Infrastructure Engineering & Provisioning Solution Delivery, Office of Information and Technology, IT Operations and Services, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
With the new capabilities, VA plans to pilot a variety of healthcare use cases. The VA’s pilots will enable the department to explore and better understand how they can improve healthcare delivery to veterans that use VA healthcare services.
The healthcare-focused use cases could include: mobile-to-mobile connectivity across medical devices; improved medical procedures and training, leveraging emerging technologies; remote and virtual pain management; and remote or near real-time surgical assistance.
In addition, AT&T has installed a 5G Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for use with Sub6 GHz spectrum and other components to enable 5G. The company’s 5G coverage extends to the VA’s recently opened Mental Health & Research building. AT&T has planned to deploy MEC and 5G millimeter wave spectrum and technologies in 2021, which will increase speeds and improve latency.
“This public-private partnership to test our 5G and MEC capabilities is distinguished by the scope of implementation and innovation it allows, going well beyond a single-room care environment to encompass an entire medical care and training campus. It’s an honor to work with the VA to explore the future of 5G and MEC-powered healthcare innovations,” said Chris Smith, vice president of Civilian and Shared Services, AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet.