Accelerating 5G/6G Adoption in Healthcare, Insurance and Life Sciences Industries

The potential of 5G and yet to come 6G technology will have a transformative impact on the healthcare, insurance, and life sciences industries.


  • In the digital-first future, networking and cloud computing are having a profound impact on the healthcare, insurance, and life sciences industries.
  • The ability to collect, store, and analyze substantial amounts of data is essential for these industries to improve quality, and affordability and to achieve this, the need for low latency, high-speed network, and massive capacity connectivity is required.
  • These can enable new and innovative applications that can improve patient care, reduce costs, and accelerate innovation, and that can be facilitated by 5G and 6G technologies, which are next-generation cellular networks.


5G, or fifth-generation technology, is the latest advancement in wireless communication systems. It represents a significant leap forward compared to its predecessor, 4G LTE. 5G technology aims to enhance the performance of mobile networks, providing faster speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity to accommodate the growing demand for data-intensive applications and devices.

The aging population in the western world is a major driver of the growth of the smartwatch market. As people age, they become more interested in tracking their health and fitness, and smartwatches offer a convenient and easy way to do this. Smartwatches can track heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, and other important health metrics. They can also be used to monitor sleep quality and stress levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made people more aware of the importance of their health and well-being and has led many to take steps to protect themselves and improve their overall health. The ability of smart gadgets like smartwatches to monitor the body's health has led to an increase in their use, especially during the outbreak. This is because people are more concerned about their health during the pandemic and are looking for ways to stay safe and healthy.

Figure 1. Estimated Smartwatch Market Size

Figure 1. Estimated Smartwatch Market Size

The global smartwatch market is projected to grow from 134 million units in 2023 to 457 million units by 2028 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.78%.

In Asia Pacific, the growth of the smartwatch market is being driven by the increasing adoption of wearable devices and the growing popularity of fitness tracking. The region is also home to a large and growing elderly population, which is another major driver of the market. Smartwatches can be used to monitor the health of elderly people and to provide them with peace of mind.

Here are some specific reasons why smartwatches are relevant to the aging population in the western world and why smartwatch sales are increasing in the Asia Pacific using health tracking, fall detection, GPS tracking, emergency alerts and communication.

As a result, the demand for these IoT (Internet of Things) products is increasing. The increasing number of IoT devices is driving the demand for 5G technology.

1.1 Key aspects of 5G technology:

1.1	Key aspects of 5G technology

2. Application in Healthcare, Insurance and Life Sciences:

The actual implementation and specific use cases may vary based on technological advancements, regulatory considerations, and industry-specific needs.

Application in Healthcare, Insurance and Life Sciences


5G is transforming healthcare by enabling real-time video consultations, remote patient monitoring, and seamless connectivity, revolutionizing the way patients receive care and healthcare professionals collaborate.

2.1.1. Enhanced Telemedicine and Remote Care:

5G technology plays a crucial role in enabling real-time video consultations, remote patient monitoring, and improved connectivity for healthcare professionals. Here is an exploration of how 5G facilitates these applications:

Enhanced quality, reduced lag time, and reliable connectivity: 5G's robust network ensures faster data speeds and stable and reliable connections, minimizing disruptions and dropped calls during video consultations, ensuring uninterrupted communication, supplying a more immersive and seamless experience for both healthcare professionals and patients. Remote patient monitoring involves collecting patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings.

Enhanced quality, reduced lag time, and reliable connectivity

Real-time data transmission and improved device connectivity with scalability and coverage: 5G's high-speed data transmission allows for real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, wearable device data, and health sensor information, ensuring comprehensive coverage for patients in various locations.

2.1.2. IoT-enabled Healthcare Systems:

IoT devices and sensors in healthcare settings create a smart healthcare infrastructure. This includes interconnected systems for monitoring patient flows, managing medical equipment, perfecting resource allocation, and improving overall operational efficiency in healthcare facilities. Wearable and remote monitoring devices can send patient data in real-time over 5G networks and can help in accurate diagnoses and personalized treatment plans.

IoT-enabled Healthcare Systems

2.1.3. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Applications

5G enables high-quality Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences, allowing medical students and professionals to immerse themselves in realistic training simulations and helps remote medical training by enabling real-time streaming of training sessions, surgical procedures, and expert demonstrations. This enables trainees to learn from renowned experts and access training resources regardless of their geographical location.

By using the speed, low latency, and reliable connectivity of 5G, immersive experiences and surgical simulations become more accessible, realistic, and impactful.

Here are some specific examples of how these technologies are being used in surgical simulations today:

  • The University of California, San Francisco, is using VR to train surgeons in complex surgical procedures. The VR simulations are so realistic that surgeons can practice the procedures without having to risk harming a patient.
  • The Mayo Clinic uses AR to guide surgeons during surgery. The AR displays real-time information about the patient's anatomy, which helps surgeons to make more exact incisions.

These are just a few examples of how immersive experiences are being used to improve surgical training and outcomes.

2.1.4. Precision Medicine and Personalized Healthcare

5G facilitates the collection and analysis of vast amounts of patient data, enabling personalized treatment plans and precision medicine approaches through the following means:

Precision Medicine and Personalized Healthcare

By leveraging 5G's capabilities in data collection, real-time analytics, IoMT integration, edge computing, and secure data exchange, healthcare providers can harness the power of big data and advanced analytics to develop personalized treatment plans. This helps precision medicine approaches that consider individual patient characteristics, perfecting healthcare outcomes and improving patient care.


5G technology is revolutionizing the insurance industry by enabling faster claims processing, personalized policies, real-time data analytics, and enhanced customer experiences, transforming the way insurance services are delivered and improving operational efficiency.

2.2.1. Keys aspects of 5G in insurance industry:

Keys aspects of 5G in insurance industry

2.2.2. Streamlined Claims Processing

By using the speed, low latency, and advanced capabilities of 5G technology, insurance companies can significantly improve claims processing speed and accuracy. Real-time data exchange, image and video analysis, automation, and enhanced collaboration contribute to faster claim resolution, reduced manual effort, improved customer experience, and more effective fraud detection.

2.2.3. Wearable Technology and Health Tracking

With real-time health data at their disposal, insurers can design initiative-taking wellness programs and incentives to encourage policyholders to adopt healthy habits. These programs may include personalized coaching, rewards for achieving health goals, or access to wellness services. 5G enables the smooth exchange of data between wearables, insurers, and wellness platforms, helping these programs' implementation.

2.2.4. Risk Assessment and Fraud Detection

5G enables insurers to collect a vast amount of real-time data, allowing for a more comprehensive and exact assessment of risks associated with individual policyholders. This improves the overall quality of risk assessment models, enabling insurers to make more informed underwriting decisions.

2.2.5. Customer Experience Enhancement

5G technology enables personalized customer experiences in the insurance industry by helping the use of virtual assistants, chatbots, and seamless digital interactions. These technologies enhance accessibility, responsiveness, and convenience for policyholders, fostering stronger customer relationships and improving overall satisfaction in the insurance industry.

Here are some specific examples of how these technologies are being used in insurance industry:

  • AXA: AXA, a multinational insurance company, has been exploring the use of 5G for improving claims processing through enhanced data collection and real-time assessment. They are leveraging 5G's high-speed connectivity to expedite the evaluation of claims, reducing processing time and enhancing customer experience.
  • Allianz: Allianz, another major player in the insurance industry, is looking into utilizing 5G to enhance their risk assessment processes. By leveraging real-time data from various sources, including IoT devices, they aim to provide more accurate risk profiles for clients, leading to better pricing and coverage strategies.
  • University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre: While not an insurance company, this university research center has been involved in projects that explore the integration of 5G with insurance services. They've been researching how 5G can support innovative insurance models, such as pay-as-you-go auto insurance, which relies on real-time data to calculate premiums based on driving behavior.


The life sciences industry, renowned for its groundbreaking advancements, is rapidly embracing the 5G technology, solidifying its position as the second-highest market in its adoption. Leveraging the lightning-fast data transfer speeds and low latency of 5G networks, life sciences researchers and practitioners can revolutionize diagnostics, remote patient monitoring, and telemedicine. Additionally, the seamless integration of 5G with emerging technologies, such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT, empowers the sector to unlock unprecedented possibilities, accelerating drug discovery, enhancing precision medicine, and paving the way for transformative healthcare solutions. This convergence of life sciences and 5G is poised to reshape the landscape of medicine and improve the overall well-being of global populations.

2.3.1 5G investments ranked across various industries

5G investments ranked across various industries

The integration of 5G technology with the life sciences industry has sparked a wave of groundbreaking innovations. With lightning-fast data transfer speeds and low latency, 5G is revolutionizing healthcare delivery. Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have become seamless, connecting healthcare providers with patients in real-time, regardless of geographic location. This enhanced accessibility allows prompt diagnosis and treatment, improving patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency. Moreover, medical training has been transformed with the introduction of immersive AR and VR experiences, supplying a safe and effective platform for healthcare professionals to practice complex procedures and expand their skills.


In the realm of research and drug development, 5G is a notable change. The ability to swiftly transfer vast amounts of genomic data accelerates the pace of precision medicine and genomics research. Researchers can now analyze genetic information with unprecedented speed, leading to more personalized treatment plans and targeted therapies for patients. Additionally, 5G enables real-time monitoring of clinical trials, allowing researchers to collect and analyze data more efficiently. This advancement speeds up the drug discovery process, bringing life-saving treatments to the market faster.

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has seen remarkable growth, thanks to 5G's robust connectivity. Wearable health trackers, smart medical devices, and remote monitoring tools, all rely on 5G networks to send data securely and efficiently. The IoMT empowers the patients to take charge of their health and enables healthcare providers to access real-time patient information for more informed decision-making. Furthermore, 5G networks prioritize data security, ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive medical information. With enhanced data protection, patients and healthcare professionals can confidently embrace the potential of the IoMT in shaping the future of healthcare.

By leveraging 5G's capabilities in AI-assisted research, data-intensive simulations, and virtual clinical trials, drug discovery processes can be significantly accelerated. The speed and efficiency improvements offered by 5G empower researchers to analyze vast amounts of data, perform complex simulations, and conduct virtual trials, leading to faster identification of promising drug candidates, reduced costs, and improved patient outcomes.

Here are some specific examples of how these technologies are being used in life sciences industry:

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): GSK has been collaborating with institutions and technology companies to harness the power of 5G in drug discovery and development. By using 5G's high-speed data transfer capabilities, they aim to accelerate the analysis of complex molecular structures and simulations, expediting the drug development process.
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: This medical center in Los Angeles has been exploring the use of 5G for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. They are testing how 5G's low latency and high bandwidth can support real-time transmission of medical data, enabling doctors to provide timely consultations and monitor patients from a distance.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): MIT researchers have been investigating how 5G can enhance the capabilities of robotic surgical systems. By utilizing 5G's ultra-low latency, they are working on developing remote surgery techniques, allowing surgeons to perform procedures on patients located far away with minimal delay.
  • Fujitsu Laboratories: This research division of Fujitsu has been developing a 5G-powered wearable device that monitors a person's vitals in real-time. The device can transmit data to healthcare providers, enabling timely interventions and personalized care.


The advent of 5G technology has ushered in a new era of innovation, promising to reshape industries and revolutionize connectivity. In this context, the healthcare, insurance, and life sciences sectors stand to gain significant benefits from the adoption of 5G. However, as these industries explore the vast potential of 5G, they also meet unique challenges and considerations. This article delves into the specific hurdles faced by each sector, ranging from infrastructure upgrades to data security, and highlights the crucial industry-specific protocols and standards that organizations must adhere to unlock the full potential of 5G's transformative capabilities. Understanding and overcoming these challenges is key to harnessing the true power of 5G in advancing healthcare delivery, insurance services, and life sciences research and development.

Industry-wise challenges and considerations

Challenges Considerations Protocols and Standards
  • Infrastructure Upgrades: Implementing 5G requires significant investments in new network infrastructure and technology upgrades.
  • Data Security and Privacy: With increased connectivity and data sharing, ensuring the security and privacy of patient information becomes paramount.
  • Interoperability: Integrating disparate healthcare systems to leverage 5G's potential can be challenging.
  • Investment in Infrastructure: Upgrading existing infrastructure to support 5G capabilities is crucial for seamless adoption and best performance.
  • Data Encryption and Compliance: Ensuring robust encryption and compliance with regulations safeguard patient information.
  • Interoperability Standards: Implementing standardized protocols and data exchange formats to promote seamless data sharing.
  • 5G NR (New Radio): The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) developed 5G NR includes technical specs and protocols for 5G radio access technology.
  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act): HIPAA sets up privacy and security standards for Protected Health Information (PHI) in the U.S.
  • HL7 (Health Level Seven International): HL7 develops standards for healthcare data exchange, including FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) for modern healthcare data exchange.
  • Data Handling and Processing: Managing vast amounts of data in real-time requires robust analytics capabilities.
  • Cybersecurity Risks: Increased connectivity opens insurance companies to potential cyber threats.
  • Customer Engagement: Utilizing 5G to offer real-time, personalized customer experiences requires a customer-centric approach.
  • Data Analytics Capabilities: Leveraging 5G's high-speed data transfer to process and analyze data quickly for better risk assessment and customer service.
  • Enhanced Security Measures: Implementing advanced cybersecurity protocols to protect sensitive customer data and financial assets.
  • Personalized Customer Experience: Using 5G to provide tailored services and experiences that resonate with customers.
  • ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development): ACORD supplies data standards for insurance and reinsurance, helping data exchange and integration across the insurance industry.
  • NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology): NIST develops cybersecurity standards and guidelines to help organizations manage cybersecurity risks.
  • ISO 31000:2018: ISO 31000 supplies principles and guidelines for risk management, crucial for customer engagement strategies in the insurance industry.
Life Sciences
  • Data Management and Collaboration: Handling and analyzing large datasets generated in research requires efficient data management solutions.
  • Cost of Implementation: Integrating 5G technology into existing infrastructure may entail significant upfront costs.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Following industry regulations and data protection laws in handling sensitive patient information is crucial.
  • High-Speed Data Transfer: Utilizing 5G's capabilities to speed up data sharing and collaboration among research teams.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Conducting a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the potential benefits against implementation costs and ensuring long-term ROI (Return on Investment).
  • Adherence to Regulations: Ensuring compliance with relevant regulatory guidelines and safeguarding patient data.
  • DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine): DICOM is a standard for storing, transmitting, and sharing medical images, essential in life sciences research and diagnostics.
  • CDISC (Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium): CDISC develops data standards for clinical research, ensuring data consistency and comparability.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) Regulations: Following FDA regulations is crucial for life sciences companies to conduct research and develop medical products.

Addressing these regulatory challenges and adhering to relevant standards is essential for the successful and responsible implementation of 5G in healthcare, insurance, and life sciences. Collaborative efforts between stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and industry experts must prove a secure, compliant, and efficient 5G-enabled ecosystem that benefits patients, insurers, researchers, and healthcare providers while supporting data privacy and security.

The financial implications of 5G adoption require careful analysis and strategic planning. While the upfront infrastructure investments and operational costs may be substantial, the potential returns in terms of increased revenue, cost savings, market opportunities, and enhanced productivity can be significant for businesses in healthcare, insurance, and life sciences. A well-executed 5G strategy, aligned with specific business goals, can pave the way for long-term growth and competitive advantage in these industries.

4. Recommendations for Successful 5G Adoption

Successfully adopting 5G requires robust infrastructure investments, strict regulatory compliance, and collaborative partnerships. Finding clear use-cases, training employees, and integrating with emerging technologies will perfect the benefits and drive innovation in various industries. Incremental implementation ensures a seamless transition and maximizes the potential of 5G's transformative capabilities.

Recommendations for Successful 5G Adoption

Successful 5G adoption requires a combination of the above factors as well as strong government support, affordable devices, and innovative applications.

5. Hyperscalers Leading the Change in 5G Adoption

The convergence of 5G technology with cloud and edge computing has opened a plethora of possibilities for the digital landscape. Among the frontrunners in this revolution are the hyperscaler cloud providers, like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). These tech giants have recognized the potential of 5G and are actively spearheading initiatives to empower businesses and industries with seamless connectivity, edge processing capabilities, and unparalleled scalability. This article explores how Azure, AWS, and GCP are using their ability to fuel 5G adoption, revolutionizing the way we interact with data and unlocking unprecedented opportunities across diverse sectors.

5.1. Microsoft Azure:

As a dominant player in the cloud computing domain, Microsoft Azure is now expanding its reach into 5G-powered services. Azure's partnership with telecommunication carriers helps a robust ecosystem for 5G infrastructure deployment. Leveraging its ability in cloud computing, Azure provides carriers with the agility and scalability needed to deliver low-latency, high-bandwidth 5G experiences to end-users. Additionally, Azure Edge Zones extends its presence to the edge of 5G networks, enabling data processing closer to the source for ultra-responsive applications. With a growing suite of 5G-enabled solutions, Azure is poised to drive innovation across industries, from smart manufacturing and autonomous vehicles to telemedicine and augmented reality.

5.2. Amazon Web Services (AWS):

AWS, a pioneer in cloud services, has embraced the potential of 5G and edge computing to redefine the future of connectivity. AWS Wavelength, a partnership with telecom providers, integrates AWS services at the edge of 5G networks, reducing latency for real-time applications. This constructive collaboration allows developers to build transformative 5G applications with AWS services, opening doors to enhanced user experiences and novel use cases. Moreover, AWS Outposts empowers organizations to run AWS infrastructure on-premises, bridging the gap between cloud and edge environments, critical for latency-sensitive applications. AWS's deep domain ability and extensive global network put them at the forefront of delivering seamless 5G experiences to customers around the world.

5.3. Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

Google Cloud Platform is rapidly proving itself as a major player in 5G adoption, focusing on cloud-native applications and advanced data analytics. Anthos, Google's hybrid, and multi-cloud platform, facilitates 5G workload migration and management across on-premises and cloud environments. This capability allows enterprises to harness the potential of 5G while preserving existing investments in their infrastructure.

Additionally, GCP's data analytics and machine learning services enable businesses to extract valuable insights from the massive datasets generated by 5G-enabled devices and sensors. GCP's strategic collaborations with telecom providers position it as a force to be reckoned with in the race for 5G supremacy, unlocking new realms of innovation and productivity.

6. Way forward - 6G Technology

In the quest for connectivity, each generation of wireless technology unveils new realms of possibility. Just as 5G reshaped our world, 6G promises to unveil even more profound dimensions of communication, uniting humanity and technology in ways we can only dream of.
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While 6G technology is still in the preliminary stages of research and development, its potential introduction is expected to bring about significant changes and advancements beyond the capabilities of 5G. Although concrete specifications for 6G are not yet proved, some potential changes we can expect with the introduction of 6G include:

Feature 5G 6G
Peak data rate 20 Gbps 1 Tbps
User-experienced data rate 100 Mbps 1 Tbps
Latency 1 ms 0.1 ms
Spectral efficiency 10 bits/Hz 20 bits/Hz
Coverage Up to 100 km Up to 1,000 km
Frequency range 3.5 GHz - 6 GHz 10 GHz - 300 GHz
Technology Millimeter wave (mmWave), sub-6 GHz Terahertz (THz)
Applications Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), autonomous driving Holographic communication, Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)

Improvements of 6G over 5G

7. Summary and Key takeaways

In conclusion, the transformative potential of 5G and 6G in healthcare, insurance, and life sciences is profound. Embracing 5G's capabilities, while prioritizing security, privacy, and investment in training initiatives, will empower these industries to unlock unprecedented opportunities and deliver enhanced services to individuals worldwide.

Key takeaways for 5G adoption in healthcare, insurance, and life sciences:

1. Healthcare:

  • Faster Data Transfer: 5G enables quick sharing of large medical files like MRI scans, aiding remote diagnostics.
  • Telemedicine Enhancement: Low latency allows real-time video consultations and improving patient care.
  • IoT Integration: 5G supports wearable devices and IoT sensors for patient monitoring and data collection.

2. Insurance:

  • Enhanced Risk Assessment: 5G-powered IoT devices offer real-time data on insured assets, enabling exact risk evaluation.
  • Claims Processing: High-speed data transfer improves claims handling and reduces processing time.
  • Telematics and Auto Insurance: 5G enables real-time tracking of vehicle data, aiding usage-based insurance models.

3. Life Sciences:

  • Accelerated Research: 5G facilitates quick sharing of complex genomic and drug trial data, speeding up research.
  • Remote Collaboration: High-quality video conferencing enhances collaboration among researchers worldwide.
  • Precision Medicine: 5G enables faster analysis of patient data, leading to personalized treatment options.

5G's speed, low latency, and IoT support have transformative potential across these sectors. Although commercial deployment of 6G is several years ahead, its ability to mold the trajectory of connectivity and technology holds significant promise. As research and development progress, the industry will be able to refine its vision and unlock even more transformative possibilities with the introduction of 6G.

8. References


Veera Santosh Silpersetty Rama

Principal Consultant

Ramya Chander Ravi Chander

Principal Consultant

Jitendra Jain

Principal Technology Architect