Telefónica and Boston Scientific, Nokia and OneLayer look to secure hospital 5G
Note, this article is not about remote 5G surgery! A couple of press notes across the desk at Enterprise IoT Insights this week make a play of 5G security in hospital settings. Firstly (in no order), Spain-based network operator Telefónica is working with US biotech engineering firm Boston Scientific to disseminate medical data over 5G from a remote support centre in Madrid to physicians during surgeries in hospitals in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Secondly, private 5G security startup OneLayer, which came out stealth mode in March with $8.2 million of seed funding, has said it is working with Nokia to secure new private 5G comms in two hospitals in Israel.
The latency and bandwidth benefits of 5G are implicit in the two projects, invariably, but network security is also the watchword in both cases, and explicitly so in the OneLayer initiative. For its part, Telefónica has said it will provide networking support, essentially, to run two-way data and comms between Boston Scientific’s new RhythmCARE medical support centre in Madrid and doctors carrying out heart operations in hospitals across the world. A key aspect is to ferry large volumes of data back and forth, quickly and securely, over public and private 5G infrastructure in order to “remotely control” diagnostic (not surgical) equipment in “real time”.
The use case is to provide remote medical support and assistance, ultimately; the whole setup will be used for training, too. Spanish firm TedCas, a funded part of Telefónica-spinoff Wayra’s open innovation ecosystem, is also engaged in the pilot, supplying hands-free user interfaces for Boston Scientific’s medical devices. Telefónica España said it will “implement” a remote control system for cardiac rhythm management and electrophysiology devicesat the centre. Boston Scientific said: “These kinds of solutions allow the knowledge of experts to be optimised in the field, removing geographical barriers and enhancing their availability, all of which helps to build better patient outcomes.”
Meanwhile, OneLayer’s work with Nokia and Cellcom (as equipment provider and system integrator, respectively) to secure new private LTE/5G installations in two hospitals in Israel – the Galilee Medical Center, and the Baruch Padeh Medical Center in Poriya – makes security central to the cause. The Tel Aviv-based firm stated: “Cellular networks require an entirely new security solution, one that can map the connected devices from cellular protocols to the IP based world. With this translation in place, asset visibility and context-based segmentation can be implemented to secure the thousands of OT and IoT devices that are used across an enterprise.”
The OneLayer platform affords “secure and rule-based communication” across cellular and IP networks, and implements firewall and network access control (NAC) within private LTE/5G networks, specifically, it said. This gives enterprises sight of devices and anomalies on their private cellular networks, and a means to respond to external threats, it said. The two Nokia networks in Galilee and Poriya make use of edge cloud slicing, so the public 5G core network handles signalling and the private 5G core runs the data flows. OneLayer said it continues to work with Nokia and Cellcom to demo how end-to-end security can be achieved within sliced hybrid networks.
It said as well it will integrate with the Medigate IoT system, acquired by New York-based industrial and healthcare security company Claroty in January, to provide “complete visibility of all the IoT/OT devices in the medical network”, and with Cisco’s identity services engine (ISE) for network access control (NAC) to enable consistent policy enforcement for all the devices in the OT network. Dave Mor, chief executive at OneLayer, commented: “Providing an enterprise-grade security approach is a crucial part of private cellular network deployment. The two main needs are visibility and segmentation. With OneLayer, enterprises and hospitals can keep their security standards even on their private cellular networks, ensuring all medical devices and machinery are protected.”