Drones will deliver medical supplies through this pioneering 5G service

Drones will deliver medical supplies through this pioneering 5G service, M1 has unveiled four 5G offerings tailored for companies in the maritime industry, including a telemedicine service that can send out medical supplies — via drone — from shore to workers on a ship. Available as bundles that encompass devices such as routers and wearables, the service offerings will run on the Singapore mobile operator’s 5G standalone network. The launch is part of M1’s efforts to provide coverage for the southern coast of Singapore and a wider strategic focus to identify new revenue streams.

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The mobile carrier began its 5G journey in 2019 and knew it could not depend solely on connectivity as a source of revenue, said M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann during the launch. The company’s new tailored offerings underscore the need to deliver complete service packages that offer value-add to customers beyond 5G connectivity. Many of these packages will be created with key partners, which will help to ensure M1 customers can benefit from tight integration with pre-tested components. The mobile operator said these partnerships also reduce the need for customers to identify and procure different components separately.

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The service will be available from July this year once key details are ironed out, including pricing and service level agreements (SLAs). Under Fullerton’s current telemedicine SLA, medicine must be delivered to patients within three hours from the time of consultation. An assessment will determine whether these SLAs this can be met with drone deliveries. Fullerton has a team of medical professionals who are trained in ways to support its telemedicine service, including how to resume connectivity in the event of a drop call, said Walter Lim, Fullerton Health’s Singapore managing director. The healthcare company currently handles 1,000 telemedicine calls a day and supports corporate clients, such as PSA.

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Drones will deliver medical supplies through this pioneering 5G service, Fine details for the service are still being worked out but he said it will probably include a “starter kit”, which includes necessary hardware equipment, such as a 5G router provided by M1.

Lim said there will also likely be a minimum monthly retainer fee that’s offered alongside a “largely pay-as-you-use” pricing model, so costs can be kept low for customers, with additional fees required if drone deliveries are activated.

As well as the telemedicine module, the SMARTsafe offering encompasses worker safety services that aim to detect risk and predict accidents via machine learning. Priced from SG$400 a month for a package that supports 10 workers, the service includes Samsung Galaxy smart watches. The service facilitates the monitoring of vital signs to detect incidents, such as falls, as well as emergency connectivity and safety alerts. The launch also includes SMARTsecure, which M1 said provides affordable and reliable connectivity between sea and land for security surveillance



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