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VA Deploys Verizon Private 5G Network to Advance Patient Care

The Verizon private 5G network is set to enhance bandwidth and support patient care improvements at VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has deployed a private 5G network from Verizon at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to improve patient care delivery.

The deployment is part of a broader collaboration between VA and Verizon Business that began in 2020 with the announcement of VA Palo Alto Health Care System as VA’s first 5G-enabled healthcare facility.

The Veteran Health Associations’ National Center for Collaborative Health Care Innovation (NCCHCI) leads the public-private partnership, Project Convergence, which aims to develop health IT use cases that advance veteran care using 5G capabilities.

Before the most recent deployment of private 5G and private 5G MEC infrastructure, Verizon deployed 5G systems spanning the Palo Alto hospital. These commercial in-building systems integrate with Verizon 5G rooftop macro sites, providing 5G services to the campus’ exterior.

These 5G systems utilize all three 5G frequency bands servicing the VA Palo Alto campus to deliver a campus-wide hybrid commercial and private 5G environment.

The network enables advanced clinical capabilities, including:

  • AR-assisted presurgical guidance with virtual 3D X-ray vision that incorporates CT and MRI scans
  • VR-assisted medical learning that allows clinicians to interact with and walk into 3D models of human organs
  • Holographic teleportation to enhance clinical interactions at a distance
  • Digital twin for data safety and security

“Our goal is to provide the best and most advanced healthcare for our Veterans,” Thomas Osborne, MD, director of the Veterans Health Administration’s (NCCHI) and executive director for the VA Convergence Center (VC2) at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, said in a press release.

“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,” Osborne added. “5G solutions enhance our current capabilities while giving us new opportunities to be forward-thinking with pioneering tools.”

The 5G technology is set to deliver greater bandwidth, allowing VA Palo Alto to leverage complex medical data. The system’s cloud-based servers, in combination with AI-based clinical decision support tools, can help providers improve patient-centered care.

“The work VA Palo Alto Health Care System is doing is a shining example of what the partnership between the VA and Verizon makes possible,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon Business CEO.

“Data is always important, but it’s critical in healthcare settings,” Malady continued. “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.”

The announcement is the latest development in an ongoing collaboration between Verizon Public Sector and VA. Last month, Verizon Public Sector announced a nine-year expansion of its partnership with VA to provide mobile devices and mission-critical communications systems.

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