CHIME to Senate: There's 'no question' 5G will improve healthcare access, efficiency

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives submitted a statement to a Senate subcommittee urging investment in 5G, the newest generation of cellular internet connectivity.

The trade group issued its statement Feb. 6 ahead of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Health's hearing on "Winning the Race to 5G and the Next Era of Technology Innovation in the United States."

"We appreciate the committee's leadership and continued interest in ensuring the digital infrastructure is in place to facilitate innovation across the American economy," CHIME wrote. "The migration to [5G] will allow technologies to truly revolutionize healthcare."

5G is the fifth generation of wireless internet speed, which can reputedly load websites and download songs at least 10 times faster than 4G. Telecommunications companies have recently touted the technology's potential, despite the fact it's not expected to replace 4G in the U.S. until 2020.

"There's no question that the infusion of 5G into healthcare will enhance access to care, while decreasing costs and improving efficiency," CHIME's statement reads, highlighting the need to remove "today's bandwidth limitations" to bolster emerging technologies.

CHIME called out telehealth, remote monitoring, interoperability and big data as particular areas in healthcare that will benefit from enhanced internet speeds. "Untethering patients from the capabilities [of] a traditional network will alter patient engagement and mitigate existing access challenges," CHIME added.

To read CHIME's complete statement, click here.

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