Jim Brinker, president and general manager of Intel's federal arm and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, wrote in a Nextgov article published Monday how 5G network technology could help the government better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies.
“The main benefit of 5G, especially for public sector applications, is the enablement of machine-to-machine communications,“ Brinker wrote. “5G also enables massive machine type computations, which lead to the low-latency computing required of real-time applications.“
He said 5G could be integrated with sensors to monitor people's health and generate digital profiles, which could help first responders and health care professionals improve contact tracing efforts and identify infection hotspots.
Brinker noted that government agencies, health care providers and businesses should have adequate data security and privacy controls when designing and fielding technologies like 5G.
“The key will be finding the balance between the need to employ technologies like 5G to enhance health contact tracing capability and the need to protect individual data and privacy. In order to realize their fullest benefit, 5G, edge sensing and edge clouds will need to implement proper security and privacy controls to support this important balance,“ he wrote.