Digi partners Hospital Sultanah Maliha and CREST to pilot Malaysia’s first 5G connected ambulance in Langkawi

Press Release
January 16, 2020

LANGKAWI, 17 JANUARY 2020 – Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) announced its partnership with Hospital Sultanah Maliha in Langkawi and Collaborative Research In Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) to pilot the first 5G connected ambulance in Malaysia to enable real-time medical data transfers between paramedics and the hospital.

The continuous streaming of patient data from when the paramedics arrive on scene, right up to delivering the patient at the hospital will create improved patient care experiences and better life-enhancing outcomes for patients.

Demonstrating the use case at Hospital Sultanah Maliha Langkawi, paramedics performed a live simulation of how a patient’s vital signs such as ECG readings and ultrasound scans are taken while en-route to the hospital in a 5G connected ambulance. This critical medical information, which is often in gigabyte sizes, are then transmitted in real-time to a doctor in the hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Department, for immediate diagnosis and in preparation for the patients’ arrival at the emergency ward.

This showcase is part of Digi’s use case in the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP), undertaken by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to facilitate, develop and foster 5G use cases in a live but controlled environment.

Digi’s Chief Technology Officer, Kesavan Sivabalan says the use case underscores the impact 5G technology can bring in advancing key industry verticals such as digital healthcare. “Gigabytes of medical data can now be transferred at super speed to multiple devices during emergencies. This is a key development in enabling remote healthcare monitoring and diagnosis. It also means that healthcare can be accessed by all, even those in hard-to-reach areas. We will continue to trial use cases such as this with the view to enable these solutions and benefits across more verticals,” Kesavan says.

Hospital Sultanah Maliha Director Dr. Mansor Ismail says, “Our doctors can now potentially improve emergency medical care response times. Through this technology, our doctors can achieve a higher level of accuracy in diagnosing their patients and this is especially critical in emergency healthcare where time is of the essence. We recognise how this medical technology has the potential to transform the face of healthcare and look forward to implement this across more hospitals in the near future.”

Collaborative Research In Engineering, Science & Technology (CREST) Chief Executive Officer Jaffri Ibrahim says, “CREST is all for supporting innovation in healthcare to address the challenges that medical professionals may face with the aim of improving digital healthcare. We are excited to partner Digi and Hospital Sultanah Maliha to continue to provide effective and accessible healthcare solutions to Malaysians.”

Digi currently has two 5G live sites on the island – at the Langkawi International Airport and Hospital Sultanah Maliha. The 5G mobile base station located at the hospital compound operates on a spectrum of 3.4-3.5GHz (C-band) of 100MHz bandwidth with a speed of 1.2Gbps.

Digi is also continuously facilitating new 5G use case tests at the 5G OpenLab space in Cyberjaya, an incubator space for businesses, academics and developers. The 5G OpenLab aims to build and nurture the development of a potential 5G ecosystem in a live but controlled environment with the goal of identifying more viable use cases that has the potential to better the community.