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Mobile communication technologies have significant potential for enhancing patient care in the eHealth sector. Compared to other domains, eHealth has more critical network requirements due to its mission-critical applications and life-risking scenarios. Deterministic low-latency and high stable throughput are crucial for remote surgeries, smart ambulances, remote proctoring, and telemedicine in disaster relief. Furthermore, security and trustworthiness are of utmost importance when it comes to communicating medical data.
Within this context, Focused project  6G SALUS focuses on the scientific and technological impact of implementing communication and cloud technologies in healthcare. It seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies across various use cases and application scenarios, leveraging the expertise of healthcare providers and telecommunication researchers.

6G SALUS is part of Spoke 5 – Industrial and Digital Transition Networks

During the first 15 months major progress was made in the 6G SALUS project in the context of WP1, WP2 and WP3. Results are reported in the deliverables. Specifically:
  • D1.1 was issued in M07, providing preliminary definitions of eHealth use cases (UCs) and KPIs.
  • D1.2, issued in M12, expanded D1.1 by focusing on the 6G perspective of the UCs and identifying potential 6G advancements.
  • A consolidated report was released at M14, merging results and analysis from WP1, WP2, and WP3. This report aggregates D1.3, D2.1, and D3.1. D1.3 highlighted the critical 5G to 6G shift in eHealth. D2.1 revealed new insights on AR, VR, and MR technologies and their applications. D3.1 provided a comprehensive view of the requirements for radio, transport, and cloud layers, analyzed the difference between public and private 5G networks, and explored the potential of cloud-based networking functions.
Since January 2023, 6G SALUS has been focused on developing an initial definition and characterization of use cases within the connected healthcare field, along with their associated KPIs. This work creates a solid foundation for crucial and challenging scenarios that necessitate cellular connectivity support. The identified use cases are grouped into three primary areas: "Remote patient monitoring and consultation", "Proctoring and surgery", and "Emergency". Each area encompasses specific use cases.

Every one of these areas includes distinct use cases. For all these use cases, 6G SALUS has pinpointed and detailed the pertinent connectivity needs and KPIs. The primary objective has been to furnish a thorough summary of eHealth use cases and their corresponding requirements, which can be proficiently backed by cellular networks coupled with specific AR, VR, MR technologies. This data will be instrumental in steering the conception and deployment of prospective eHealth services, warranting their usefulness and efficiency.
In the realm of healthcare, mobile communication technologies like 5G and the anticipated 6G are about to play a pivotal role. The eHealth sector has some of the most demanding network requirements because it deals with mission-critical applications where improvements in network performance can mean the difference between life and death.

Stable latency and throughput are essential for remote surgeries, managing emergency situations with smart ambulances, and supporting critical telemedicine services during disaster relief. With the right programmable transport infrastructure, 5G and 6G technologies are set to enhance existing eHealth services and enable new ones.

These topic are in the focus of 6G SALUS that has so far explored the most important use cases in the field of connected healtcare, studying their requirements and their connectivity needs.

  • KPI 1 - Scientific Impact - The degree of scientific value and collaboration resulting from the partnership between academic leaders and a world-leading telecommunications company with a highly structured research group investigating 6G cellular technologies. Measurement: A qualitative assessment of the depth and impact of the collaboration, considering the quality of research output, technological advancements, and their potential contributions to the field of connected healtcare. - Expected
  • KPI 2 - Technological Impact - The extent to which the project showcases the practical integration of various IoT, cloud, edge, and computing environments at the architectural and design level, leveraging future-proof cellular technologies for connectivity. Measurement: A quantitative assessment based on the comprehensiveness, effectiveness, and innovation in demonstrating the integration of IoT, cloud, edge, and computing technologies within the project.
  • KPI 3 - Sustainability Impact - The project's ability to contribute to sustainability by addressing use cases that reduce the need for medical staff travel, decrease CO2 emissions, and optimize resource utilization in healthcare networks. Measurement: A qualitative assessment of the project's effectiveness in reducing the environmental impact, enhancing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable healthcare practices.
  • KPI 4 - Societal Benefits - The project's ability to contribute to achieving "Health for All" goal by expanding primary healthcare coverage, strengthening health systems, reducing costs, enhancing the quality of care, and empowering individuals to take control of their health outcomes, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 "Good Health and Well-being". Measurement: A quantitative assessment of the project's impact on the key components of "Health for All" and its alignment with the specific targets and indicators outlined in SDG 3.

P.Iovanna, M.Puleri, G.Bottari, F.Cavaliere "Intent based AI model in packet-optical networks towards 6G" published on Journal of Optical Communication and Technologies reporting techniques to address vertical requirements (among which the specific on healtcare ones) over a radio/transport network (this paper reports a specific acknoledge on RESTART funding)

Project Meetings

Monthly face-to-face meetings between Ericsson and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna for coordination and alignment on the project progresses. Meeting of PI with Spoke 5.
  • Milestone 1 - Definition and characterization of eHealth UCs (M07) - Accompished
  • Milestone 2 - Identification of requirements at UC (T1.2), supporting technologies, (T2.1), and network levels (T3.1) (M14) - Accompished
  • Milestone 3 - Theoretical validation of the overall immersive system (M34) - Expected
  • Milestone 4 - Assessment of UC in the identified network scenario (M36) - Expected

Project PI: Paola Iovanna

Collaboration proposals:
For any proposal of collaboration within the project please contact the project PI.