VISIONARY LEADERSHIP IN HEALTHCARE: One of the most important traits of great leadership is vision: the ability to imagine a better future and find a way for one's organization to get there.

Author:de la Vega, Ralph

A few weeks ago, while attending a dinner during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I met one such visionary leader, this one from the medical field.

He is Dr. Antonio de Lacy, a Spanish surgeon and professor whose c.v. lists advancements in laparoscopic surgery, among others.

For the past five years Dr. de Lacy has been looking for a way to perform telemedicine in the true sense of the word. That is, in real time, without transmission delays.

He finally found it in 5G wireless technology. As the latest evolution of wireless broadband, 5G provides faster download speeds and, most appealing to Dr. de Lacy, it reduces latency (or buffering time) to the single-digit millisecond range, which is virtual real time.

The fact that 5G is not commercially available yet has not stopped Dr. de Lacy from exploring and then proving its potential value to the healthcare field (how's that for having vision?).

The proof was in the surgery

He did that just a couple of days after our dinner. Sitting in a remote location and using a 5G video connection, Dr. de Lacy was able to assist a doctor performing surgery at a distant operating room.

I must emphasize that while telemedicine is not new, the use of 5G for assisted surgery is.

That's because with 5G you have virtually no delay between the moment the operating surgeon makes an incision, the time when the remote specialized surgeon (Dr. de Lacy in this case) sees the incision on a video screen, and when the operating surgeon receives the specialist's advice.

We're talking distance medicine at real time.

Add to that the higher video resolution provided by 5G and you'll begin to realize the potential that Dr. de Lacy envisioned, not just to provide expert guidance to surgeons operating in remote locations but even to paramedics who can deliver treatment on the way to the hospital.

Healthcare has made tremendous strides on its own over the years, especially when partnering with technology.

The 5G example I've described is just one of the many...

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