Paul Houle saved up all summer to buy an Apple Watch. He had no idea that this single purchase would save his life…
Houle was a high school football player. And after he finished up a hard morning practice, he noticed that his back hurt every time he took a breath… But he didn’t think much of it.
Later, though, Houle’s watch sent a strange notification. It indicated that his heart rate was 145 beats per minute—60 to 80 beats higher than normal. He told his trainer, who examined him and immediately drove him to the ER.
Houle was suffering from rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition that can result from muscle strain and overexertion.
His muscles were breaking down and releasing a protein into his bloodstream. And it was causing his organs to shut down. The pain in his back was from his kidneys failing.
If Houle’s watch hadn’t alerted him, the young man could’ve easily died.
This is a remarkable story, and it’s an early sign of things to come in health care. Believe it or not, this sea change in health care diagnostics will be powered by 5G…
A Wearable Revolution
You’ve likely heard of 5G. And you may know that I’ve been pounding the table on the 5G wireless rollout. It represents one of the best investment trends of this decade and the next.
That’s because on average, 5G will be 100 times faster than our current 4G networks. And 5G is much more than just fast download speeds on our smartphones.
5G connectivity is being added to cars and trucks, shipping containers, laptops, tablet computers… and wearables with health care applications.
Consider this: The chance of surviving cardiac arrest goes down 7–10% each minute that passes after a person collapses. And once a stroke begins, we lose two million brain cells every minute. Time is of the essence in these situations.
Right now, we typically wait until obvious symptoms present themselves (like collapsing on the floor) before we seek emergency assistance.
But with the next generation of wearable health monitors, our devices will be able to alert emergency services at the earliest sign of trouble. This will dramatically increase survival rates. Paul Houle is just one early success story.
And wearable health monitors will transform health care in another way, too…
Health Care Meets Big Data
The mass adoption of health monitors will also produce a tidal wave of data. Everything from your heart rate and respiratory patterns to even your sleeping habits… will be collected as data and used to inform better preventative treatments.
Already, Stanford Medical School estimates that health care will produce 2,314 exabytes of data by 2020. That’s up from just 153 exabytes in 2013.
For scale, an exabyte is equivalent to 100,000 times all the printed material in the Library of Congress. It’s hard to get our heads around that much data.
And with hundreds of millions of wearable health monitors poised to collect health-related data on users 24/7, that number is headed higher.
There’s just one problem…
Our current 4G wireless networks aren’t capable of transmitting that much data effectively. They’re overloaded.
Have you ever had a dropped call in the last six months? Or maybe your text message won’t go through no matter how many times you try. Perhaps you tried to pull up a website on your smartphone, but the page just wouldn’t load.
These problems are almost always caused by network congestion. Just like a traffic jam, the networks are overloaded. The data can’t get to where it needs to go.
That’s where 5G comes in…
As I said, 5G will be an average of 100 times faster than 4G. With that sort of bandwidth, slow-loading web pages and dropped calls will be a thing of the past.
But it also means that 5G will also be able to transmit the exabytes of health care data collected from wearable monitors.
And that opens up some very exciting opportunities…
Electronic Medical Records
If you’ve ever gone to a doctor’s office, you already know that the first step is almost always filling out pages of paperwork. You have to write down your medical history… current prescriptions… known allergies… The list goes on and on.
Those days should be long gone by now. And soon, they will be. In the years ahead, health care will shift toward compiling electronic medical records (EMRs) for every patient.
Your EMR will be a trove of health-related data, much of it collected from your wearable health monitor and transported in real time over a lightning-fast 5G network.
That means no more clipboards waiting for you at the doctor’s office. And when you enter the examining room, the doctor won’t have to ask, “How are you feeling?” Your EMR will provide the answer for you.
Doctors can also unleash machine learning—a form of artificial intelligence (AI)—on patients’ EMRs to diagnose conditions that the human medical professionals miss.
Researchers at Stanford have even created an AI algorithm that matched the performance of trained dermatologists when diagnosing skin cancer.
Thanks to 5G and AI, diseases will be diagnosed at the earliest stages, when treatment is the most effective. Countless lives will be saved. Needless suffering will be averted.
5G Health Care
The most frequent question I get by far when writing about 5G is about the supposed health effects. People worry 5G will harm humans and lead to everything from cancer to autism. But I don’t believe 5G poses a risk to our health. (You can read my official response to these concerns right here.)
What I do know is that 5G will lead to a myriad of health benefits. Effectively transmitting individual health data is one benefit. But it’s just the beginning.
There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the 5G future…
Smart ambulances that transmit a patient’s vitals in real time… virtual reality therapies that rehabilitate stroke victims… even robotic surgeries performed by a surgeon 10,000 miles away… All these medical innovations will only be possible with 5G.
And they’ll be possible soon.
Editor, Exponential Tech Investor
P.S. 5G is more than just another network upgrade. It’ll unleash more than $12 trillion in wealth—and transform almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives, including health care. And for smart investors, key 5G stocks will deliver 10x returns as this megatrend plays out.
99% of investors will miss out on the 5G boom. I encourage you not to be one of them. I’ve prepared a free 5G investor presentation to show investors how to profit from 5G. I even give the name of my favorite 5G company to put on your watchlist.
But you’re running out of time. This presentation goes offline at midnight. So watch it right here while there’s still time.