Kick-off for 6G-Health: Better healthcare through 6G networking
4/21/2023 Digitalisation News

Kick-off for 6G-Health: Better healthcare through 6G networking

In the research project "6G-Health" (Holistic development of high-performance 6G networking for distributed medical technology systems), the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) is now working on basic principles and requirements for 6G-based medical applications. The aim is to incorporate the results into international 6G standardisation. 6G-Health officially started in October 2022 and will run until October 2025. The team has now started its project work. 6G-Health is led by Vodafone and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with 10 million euros. Of this, Fraunhofer HHI will receive one million euros.

Doctor holding tablet in her hand
6G is expected to open up new opportunities for improving health care. For the first time, the next-generation mobile communications standard will be more than just a radio network: 6G will combine sensor technology, mobile communications and computing power to interweave virtual and real worlds in the best possible way.

For medicine, for example, this means that patients' vital signs could be recorded, processed and transmitted directly through the 6G network. Doctors and nurses would benefit from new forms of collaboration through these expanded network functionalities - for example, through augmented reality (AR) applications or telemedicine. In addition, secure communication should enable interaction between humans and machines so that, for example, support structures worn on the body (exoskeletons) help patients to walk or caregivers to push beds. This requires very low latencies. In addition, energy efficiency is to be optimised through AI in network technology.

In order to use these technologies extensively in medical care, the 6G Health team is analysing which performance features the next mobile phone generation should have. Based on this, the researchers will develop 6G components for future medical technology applications and evaluate them together with clinical partners. In the end, the research results will flow into the international 6G standardisation.

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