A student was the first in Hungary to transmit an x-ray image with the help of Innomed and NMHH via Vodafone 5G

Published: 24 November 2020

Róbert Varga, student at the Széchenyi István University of Győr was the first to forward a high resolution x-ray image via 5G networks, with the professional and technological assistance of Innomed Medical, Vodafone Hungary and the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH). This healthcare innovation opens new horizons in various remote diagnostics procedures.

The rapid and effective medical evaluation of records created with medical imaging devices is of vital importance - which is why the healthcare innovation of Róbert Varga is of unquestionable significance: for the first time in Hungary, the student at the Széchenyi István University of Győr electronically forwarded a high resolution x-ray image via the Vodafone 5G network. “X-ray images are generally stored on some external storage medium (e.g. pendrive) and taken from the imaging device to the geographically distant diagnostic device. However, thanks to the next-generation 5G network, large-size images can be rapidly and effectively forwarded, which is of great significance as even a difference of a few minutes can save lives in the case of healthcare,” explained creator Róbert Varga.

This innovation renders the use of external storage medium unnecessary as the x-ray images can be sent from the x-ray machine straight to the diagnostic work station – through a so-called PACS server – which is of great importance, for example, in the case of mobile screening stations. The student, who won the TDK (Scientific Students' Associations) award with his project, developed and presented it to the public with the devices of Innomed Medical Zrt. and the 5G network of Vodafone Hungary. “Hospitals are one of the most important institutions that serve the benefit of society, which is why I was interested in helping the day-to-day lives of hospitals, physicians and patients. I feel that the 5G technology offers a wide range of opportunities. The data should do the travelling instead of the doctor!” said the originator, Róbert Varga.

 “At our research and development institute the founding engineers are working alongside young colleagues and university students, looking for pathways to the future. One of our current research projects is focused on a rapid diagnostic device that is easy to install and can be disinfected with a mobility that makes it possible to be used in crisis zones. Its mobility and easy disinfection makes this a rather well timed development in the current period of the COVID-19 pandemic as it can be easily installed in container hospitals. The device is actually a modular, low dosage, multipurpose, linear, battery powered digital tomosynthesis (DTS) device, which produces a single image in only 10 seconds. The role of the 5G technology is evidenced in forwarding the large amount of data produced by the imaging to the diagnostic device. This was the project that brought together Róbert Varga, Vodafone Magyarország Zrt. and Innomed Medical Zrt. All three parties have vested interests in its successful implementation,” said Endre Dévai, President of Innomed Medical Zrt.

Since the very beginning, Vodafone Hungary has been at the forefront of developing the next-generation 5G mobile network: in 2019, it was the first of the domestic mobile operators to launch its live commercial 5G services in downtown Budapest, available for all to use, thanks to the 3500 MHz frequency assets purchased in 2016. In April 2020, Vodafone Hungary acquired additional frequencies for the 5G mobile services via the frequency auction hosted by the NMHH, leading to the deployment of the operator’s island-like 5G network, while this October they announced they would be launching 5G at nearly 200 base stations, as a result of which 5G services will be available to its clients practically everywhere in the capital city. The operator’s goal is to make the next-generation network geographically as widely available as possible in order to fully serve society’s interests.

“I believe that the digitalization of numerous industries can profit from the knowledge and experience that is now becoming available with the next-generation 5G network development. It is particularly important for us to support initiatives of public benefit and we devote special attention to solutions that support the digitalization of healthcare services. We are particularly pleased to see that the new technologies we are supporting are bursting onto the scene through the efforts of talented young people, to the benefit of society. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Róbert Varga on his incredible work! ” said Dr. Gergő J. Budai, Deputy Chairman of Vodafone Hungary’s Board.

“I clearly recall the long series of consultations required for providing access for healthcare, education and industry to the benefits offered by 5G. Following the professional debates, the NMHH carried out the sale of frequencies, which stimulates the partnership between service providers and technology users,” explained Dr. Janka Aranyos-Börcs, Director-General of the NMHH, who expressed the hope that we will soon witness more examples of such cooperation, thus reinforcing and intensifying the ties between our country’s infocommunications and health sectors and, in a broader sense, the country’s economy as well. The Director-General also congratulated Róbert Varga and recalled that the electrical engineer student’s TDK (Scientific Students' Associations) lecture given in the subject the week before was recognised with a special award by the NMHH.