Anne Geelen

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University Hospital Bonn is now a 5G campus

  • First 5G campus network for a university hospital
  • Aim is to optimize patient care through digitization
  • 5G campus network paves the way to the 'Secure UKB Medical Campus’
(from left) Prof. Wolfgang Holzgreve, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board at UKB

(from left) Prof. Wolfgang Holzgreve, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board at UKB, and Prof. Ulrike Attenberger, Director of the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, discuss the images of an MRI examination on the tablet. © University Hospital Bonn (UKB)/J. F. Saba

The University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and Deutsche Telekom have jointly developed a 5G-campus network at the UKB. It is the first campus network of such a kind based on frequencies in the 3.6 GHz range. The new 5G network enables rapid transmission of high data volumes and facilitates interdisciplinary exchange between different medical specialties. Above all, this means optimizing the treatment of emergency patients at the UKB. The 5G campus network is a major milestone on the way to a highly efficient 'Secure UKB Medical Campus'. It is a pioneering achievement for the healthcare sector in Germany.


As a maximum care hospital with the third highest case mix index in Germany, highly complex patients are treated at University Hospital Bonn (UKB). This requires not only speedy diagnosis, but often also cross-disciplinary collaboration between different medical disciplines. The goal of the joint project between UKB and Telekom was, in the first step, to facilitate communication between the specialties and to transfer large volumes of data, for example from CT, MRI and other imaging, more quickly. To this end, 5G campus network of a category M has now been implemented at UKB in cooperation with Telekom. As an important cross-cutting discipline to other fields, radiology is currently benefiting from the new 5G network in various use cases: "If a patient comes to us, for example after a traffic accident, and we now receive CT images for evaluation on a mobile tablet, then consultation with experts who are not on site can also take place immediately and the patient can still be treated properly and quickly faster" , says Prof. Ulrike Attenberger, Director of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology.

The new 5G standard is however just one milestone on the way to a larger vision of the future. "Our goal is the 'Secure UKB Medical Campus'. In the future, we want to fully digitize the process flows within the scope of university maximum care hospital and thus, ensure that patient care is further optimized with the help of artificial intelligence. Possible scenarios include digital admission and therapy planning and the virtual testing of therapeutic procedures on so-called digital twins," says Prof. Wolfgang Holzgreve, Medical Director and Chairman of the Board at UKB.

Telekom has set up a campus network on the UKB site for this purpose. This campus network of category M uses the public mobile network for coverage and guarantees customers certain performance levels via Quality of Service. For example, machines can communicate with each other without delay in such manner.

Due to the extremely short delay with 5G, vehicles can theoretically also move autonomously across the hospital grounds with the help of sensors in the future, thus supporting hospital logistics on campus.

Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation, Deutsche Telekom AG emphasizes: "Rapid availability of data and its secure exchange is a very important factor of our campus networks. Secure, innovative technologies that support people are of higher priority to us." The advantages for UKB are high data security when transmitting sensitive patient information, fast data transmission and high reliability. This directly benefits patient care, research and teaching alike.

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