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5G for digital healthcare in COVID-19

5G for digital healthcare in COVID-19

A publication by Dr. Madhusanka Liyanage, Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow at UCD School of Computer Science, has been awarded the 2022 ICT Express best paper award. The paper, co-authored with researchers from University of Oulu and Zurich University of Applied Sciences, is titled “(opens in a new window)The role of 5G for digital healthcare against COVID-19 pandemic: Opportunities and challenges

COVID-19 has caused substantial changes in the lifestyle of communities all over the world. Countries faced healthcare, financial, and societal challenges due to the COVID-19 and certain effects of the pandemic are still to be recovered. While the overwhelmed healthcare facilities were experiencing interruptions in provisioning of regular health services, healthcare personnel vulnerable to COVID-19 added an extra burden, taxing the healthcare resources even more. The use of technology to implement short-term and long-term solutions in the face of such a pandemic had become inevitable. The paper highlighted the methodologies to effectively utilize 5G for e-health use cases and its role to enable relevant digital services.

The paper presented various use cases including telehealth, rapid deployment of new healthcare applications, supply chain management for healthcare, self-isolation and contact tracing that were extensively discussed in the pandemic era. Moreover, the paper critically analyzed the role 5G under each use cases by presenting the role of radio, edge (MEC), and core network of 5G system. Every novel solution faces unexpected challenges at the real-life implementations. Therefore, the paper recognizes the importance of addressing implementation challenges in 5G based digital healthcare in a pandemic. These challenges include but are not limited to, privacy protection issues, security challenges, scalability and QoS provisioning under massive connectivity regime, limited connectivity, and societal issues. The paper also presents methods on how to address these challenges to ensure a proper real-life implementation of 5G based digital healthcare in a pandemic situation.

About the ICT Express Best Paper Award

The Korean Institute of Communications and Information Sciences (KICS) sponsors ‘ICT Express Best Paper Award’. This award honors the best outstanding research/review paper published in ICT Express from Vol. 7 No. 1 (March 2021) to Vol. 7 No. 4 (December 2021).

(opens in a new window)https://www.journals.elsevier.com/ict-express/awards/2022-ict-express-best-paper-best-paper-runner-up-awards

This paper was written as a joint research work with the University of Oulu, Finland and ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland under the 6G Flagship project. Yushan Siriwardhana who is a PhD candidate of Center for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu is the primary author of this paper. Madhusanka has been his co-supervisor since 2020.

Reference for the Best Paper

Yushan Siriwardhana, Gürkan Gür, Mika Ylianttila, Madhusanka Liyanage, The role of 5G for digital healthcare against COVID-19 pandemic: Opportunities and challenges, ICT Express, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2021, Pages 244-252, ISSN 2405-9595, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icte.2020.10.002.


This work is partly supported by the European Union in RESPONSE 5G (Grant No: 789658) project and the Academy of Finland in 6Genesis (Grant No. 318927) and 5GEAR (Grant No. 319669) projects.

Published 29.08.22 

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