First Ambulance and Yes Unveil 5G Smart Ambulance

APR 16, 2022

First Ambulance Services (FAS) and YTL Communications (Yes) have announced that they are currently working to deliver 5G Smart Ambulance services. It is essentially an evolution of their Smart Ambulance project which was revealed in 2020.

In general, there are several main elements that are in play that differentiate FAS’ Smart Ambulance from its traditional counterpart. One of them is the adoption of the cloud-based Yes Fleet platform which also includes the implementation of telematics systems on its vehicles.

Among the data captured by Yes Fleet’s telematics system. (Image: First Ambulance / Facebook.)

Yes 5G router inside the ambulance.

This allows FAS to obtain real-time locations of its ambulances as well as their speed, fuel level, and engine status which ultimately helps the company to manage its fleet more efficiently. Alongside that, the partnership between the two companies also led to the implementation of in-vehicle Wi-Fi that allows emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to send medical information such as EKG data and ultrasound images to the hospital while the patient is in transit.

With 5G, EMTs and emergency care doctors will no longer be limited to static data. As 5G provides better throughput and lower latency than 4G, emergency care doctors can receive the EKG telemetry and ultrasound video feed in real-time.

The EMT is wearing a Realwear Navigator 500 headset that allows her to provide live video feed to the emergency care doctors at the hospital as well as receive feedback from them.

Dr Thayaharan Subramaniam, Medical Director and Emergency Physician of First Ambulance Services conducted the live demo which involved a live video feed of the patient as well as real-time streaming of ECG data and ultrasound scan.

The high-performance nature of 5G also allows the paramedics to live stream the ultrasound and actual visuals of the patient in high definitions which could provide better insights to the doctors. At the same time, the doctors can provide more accurate and timely guidance to the paramedics which could tremendously help improve emergency care.

As this project is still in its early stage, technically there is no live 5G Smart Ambulance on the road for the time being. Nevertheless, the tech demo that we witnessed today is quite feasible to be implemented in real life but before we can rely on 5G to help save lives, we believe that the country’s 5G footprint needs to be more comprehensive and stable enough.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (seated) and MCMC Chairman Dr Fadhlullah Suhaimi (far left) are being briefed by YTL Communications’ CEO, Wing K. Lee (second right).

Yes is currently the only telco that has deployed the 5G service to the consumers while TM who has also signed with Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), is still doing its internal testing. On the other hand, the Big Four telcos including Celcom, Digi, Maxis, and U Mobile are still going through DNB’s Reference Access Offer and have yet to agree on any commercial deals with the national 5G company.

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