Rush Aims to Be First Hospital in U.S. to Use Standards Based 5G


Rush University Medical Center plans to become the first hospital to use standards-based 5G (fifth-generation) in the U.S., ultimately bringing faster broadband speeds to support the innovative information technology that Rush currently is using throughout the Rush System.

Provided by AT&T, the 5G technology will be employed in various use cases aimed at improving outcomes, increasing staff efficiency and enhancing the patient experience.

“Rush has a long history of innovation in health care. We strongly believe 5G is a game-changing technology when fully implemented that will help us support better hospital operations as well as provide the highest quality patient and staff experience,” said Dr. Shafiq Rab, senior vice president and chief information officer, Rush University Medical Center and the Rush system.

“The technology will help enhance access to care, even from long distances, while also helping to decrease costs and improve efficiency. Imagine sometime in the not too distant future, for example a doctor performing a virtual visit with a patient while downloading an entire MRI scan within seconds.

“The cutting-edge applications we’re implementing need a fast, reliable network to support them. That’s why we turned to AT&T.”

The 5G technology will help connect various applications, people, devices, robotics and more. The Rush collaboration with AT&T doesn’t stop with network services, either. Together, they will create opportunity to explore the use of mobile technology in technology-driven therapies, improving hospital operations and enhancing the patient experience.

The project will begin this month and provide learning opportunities throughout most of 2019.

“AT&T believes ultimately 5G’s fast speeds and ultra-low latency (delays in initiating data transfers) will transform all businesses — and Rush is leading the way in health care,” said Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer, AT&T Business. “Imagine a hospital where rooms are intelligently scheduled, patient care is enhanced with artificial intelligence, and augmented reality is used in training medical students.

“It sounds like the future, but it’s not that far off. And we want to help make it happen.”

Rush System for Health, a clinically integrated network of health care providers and hospitals in Chicago, is poised to take full advantage of AT&T’s 5G network, Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) — a cloud-based IT service environment at the edge of the network — and other advanced network related technologies as they become available. AT&T MEC services will enable Rush to manage its cellular traffic over both its local network and its wide area network. This will allow Rush to better satisfy network communications and application processing needs for its data, enhance the various use cases across its system, and help improve the patient experience.