LIVE FROM MWC21 BARCELONA: Dr Antonio de Lacy, chief of gastrointestinal surgery department, Hospital Clinic Barcelona (pictured) backed 5G and AI to help reduce errors during surgery, as he called for more technology-fuelled advancements in the health sector.

De Lacy, who notably performed the world’s first 5G remote surgery at MWC2019, spoke of work done since the milestone and demonstrated a new system which allows collaboration between doctors and hospitals all over the world.

Dubbed AIS Telesurgeon, the system can be plugged into operating theatres in hospitals around the world and allow for communication through 5G between surgeons using videos and pictures.

De Lacey said this allowed for the creation of a network globally, which was important “as four eyes, or even ten eyes are better than two”, and really helped to reduce complications during health procedures which he described as “one of biggest pandemics”.

Going forward, de Lacey said the goal was to move towards a world where live surgery through 5G was possible, in addition to increasing discussions about how robotics and AI could be in integrated into the surgical process.

Also speaking on the keynote, Ana Maiques, CEO of Neuroelectrics, continued on on the theme of health, focusing specifically on technology advancements for the human brain.

She said 5G was key to the company’s Enobio headpiece device, which is worn by users to track brain activity and address a range of issues including epilepsy and mental health.

Maiques noted many people suffered from depression during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and Neuroelectrics saw an opportunity to send its device to help patients who were unable to be treated in hospitals.

“We believe the future of technology is going home, so it is going to change the way we deal with brain diseases,” she explained, adding 5G “is going to be key because we can stimulate millions of patients at home, but also when we stimulate the patients we can record their brain data.”