Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
Artif Intell Gastrointest Endosc. Mar 12, 2021; 2(1): 1-11
Published online Mar 12, 2021. doi: 10.37126/aige.v2.i1.1
5G mobile communication applications for surgery: An overview of the latest literature
Leandra Börner Valdez, Rabi R Datta, Benjamin Babic, Dolores T Müller, Christiane J Bruns, Hans F Fuchs
Leandra Börner Valdez, Rabi R Datta, Benjamin Babic, Dolores T Müller, Christiane J Bruns, Hans F Fuchs, Department of Surgery, University of Cologne, Cologne 50937, Germany
Author contributions: Börner Valdez L, Datta RR, Babic B, Müller DT, Bruns CJ, Fuchs HF wrote and revised the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interests in relation to this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Hans F Fuchs, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgeon, Department of Surgery, University of Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, Cologne 50937, Germany.
Received: January 23, 2021
Peer-review started: January 23, 2021
First decision: February 28, 2021
Revised: March 10, 2021
Accepted: March 12, 2021
Article in press: March 12, 2021
Published online: March 12, 2021

Fifth-generation wireless network, 5G, is expected to bring surgery to a next level. Remote surgery and telementoring could be enabled and be brought into routine medical care due to 5G characteristics, such as extreme high bandwidth, ultra-short latency, multiconnectivity, high mobility, high availability, and high reliability. This work explores the benefits, applications and demands of 5G for surgery. Therefore, the development of previous surgical procedures from using older networks to 5G is outlined. The current state of 5G in surgical research studies is discussed, as well as future aspects and requirements of 5G in surgery are presented.

Keywords: 5G, Wireless networks, Remote surgery, Telesurgery, Telementoring, Robotic surgery

Core Tip: Very few research studies have been conducted to prove efficacy and feasibility of 5G in surgery so far, with most of these studies being case studies. All of them reported a stable 5G network proving 5G to be feasible for surgery. However, detailed information about the data rate and latency are missing. More research efforts are demanded to explore questions like the combination with new technologies, e.g., Virtual Reality, political regulations, or cyber-security if 5G becomes the backbone of next-generation surgery.