Lawrence Ellison Institute, AT&T study ways to apply 5G to cancer care

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The Lawrence Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine at the University of Southern California is working with AT&T to develop new ways to incorporate 5G technology.

The initiative aims to use the fast wireless technology in tandem with and to enable multi-access edge computing, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to aid in cancer research, treatment and education.

According to, multi-access edge computing moves the computing of traffic and services from a centralized cloud to the edge of a network and closer to a customer. Instead of sending all data to a cloud for processing, the network edge analyzes, processes and stores the data.

AT&T and the Ellison Institute think tank are working on ways to change the course of treatment of the disease to revolutionize and create a new paradigm in cancer research and treatment. They will open a new building where patients, researchers, physicians and scientists can interact in a community environment that will support healthcare connectivity, and enhance the patient experience.

For example, patients, families and other visitors receive a wayfinding app to find where they are going, and connected sensors track patient-staff interaction.

With the wayfinding app, there are no waiting rooms as sensors throughout the facility enable patients and others to walk around the facility or go outside, and a nurse will use the app to let persons know that it’s time to see the physician, says David Agus, MD, founding director and CEO at Ellison Institute.

The facility doesn’t even have computers, Agus explains. Detectors will collect data across the building and store the data and analytics in a cloud platform. The data being collected even will let Agus know if specialists are really listening to what patients and families tell them.

“We are becoming more efficient and spending more time with patients,” he contends. “We are obliged take risks and we won’t get everything right. We want to push AT&T and reinvent technology.”

For example, every vial in the hospital will be known where it is and be auto-refilled if necessary because the building will be collecting data. The building will use 5G, multi-access edge computing, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies from AT&T to support a state-of-the-art smart facility for cancer research, treatment and wellness education.

The effort is further strengthened by bringing in world-class medical researchers and experts in physics, engineering and mathematics. Amassing data intelligence across the enterprise will help to define the success of collaborative interactions of providers, patients, researchers, administrators and other stakeholders.

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