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What can 5G do for emergency responders?

When seconds can save lives, first responders need fast connections

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First Responders are the first to arrive and provide assistance to the scene of an emergency, working hard to save lives in a matter of seconds. They are often going in with minimal information given by the 911 operator, with major potential blindspots as far as the patient’s vitals, medical records, and details about the accident or emergency itself. In this circumstance, saving time is key to ensuring the patient will receive the best possible care. Choosing the right treatment, avoiding mistakes, and anticipating what might be unseen complications with the patient’s injury are all essential to a patient’s survival and full recovery.

So, if data and time are critical to helping first responders, how can modern technology help?

In today’s world, nearly every device is connected to the internet in one way or another. These connected devices could send real time vitals to emergency medical technicians on the way to the scene of an emergency. Or, ambulance drivers could have access to live traffic data, in order to find the quickest routes to hospitals. Doctors could have AR headsets, allowing them to remotely diagnose and treat patients in need of emergency care. The possibilities are endless.

To make this a reality, Verizon set up the 5G First Responder Lab, which will help create the tools of tomorrow.

“The 5G First Responder Lab that Verizon set up two years ago now is working with innovative companies to deliver mission-impacting services for first responders, and specifically for emergency medical services” says Nick Nilan, Verizon Director, Product Development for Public Sector. “5G allows us to push a lot more data over the network to be able to give emergency medical services the information they need when they need it.”

5G is next generation wireless network technology that will be faster and able to handle more connected devices than the existing 4G LTE network. Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, the fastest 5G in the world*, has greater bandwidth, meaning it can handle many more connected devices than previous networks, and reduced latency, which means less time for a device to make a request to a server and get a response.

What does that look like in practice, according to Nilan?

The Lab is currently open in Washington DC, Cambridge, MA, Los Angeles, and Palo Alto, California. Incubators set up by the Lab work with local innovators like Vuzix, whose product uses an augmented reality display to better inform First Responders and link EMTs to Doctors. These innovators will explore the boundaries of 5G network technology and rethink what’s possible in a 5G world.

The Verizon 5G Lab aims to optimize every aspect of the Emergency Response field by helping develop products that use 5G technology, and equipping First Responders with the tools they need to help their patients get the care they need.

By connecting the world and by bringing these new ideas, hardware, and applications together, Verizon 5G will build tomorrow’s future, today.

Learn more about Verizon 5G.

*Global claim from May 2020, based on Opensignal independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period January 31 – April 30, 2020 © 2020 Opensignal Limited.

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