The Capgemini 5G Academy is teaching students essential skills in the field of 5G, to invest in the future workforce and develop ideas that change the world.
Technology powered by 5G is set to revolutionise sectors as diverse as entertainment, manufacturing and healthcare.
At the Capgemini 5G Academy, run in collaboration with Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, a group of students has gained hands-on industrial experience of these technologies.
The academy, which is based in Naples, Italy, was launched in January 2020 and ran for seven months. Over that period, 30 undergraduate and graduate students explored the dynamics of digital transformation stimulated by 5G under the supervision of an expert panel of Capgemini lecturers.
5G skills for tomorrow
Equipping the next generation of young people with 5G skills is essential, and represents an investment in the future workforce. In fact, 65% of participants in the academy were later hired by Capgemini to bring these vital skills into the wider company ecosystem.
Four teams of students, with diverse backgrounds and skillsets, collaborated to research and develop actual 5G solutions that companies would be able to adopt in the near future. The four areas of focus were healthcare, media and entertainment, manufacturing and insurance.
The healthcare team developed an exciting application in the area of deep brain stimulation (DBS). Group member Francesco Barbato explains the concept: “DBS is a technique used to help treat patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. The treatment involves implanting electrodes into the patient’s brain that emit electromagnetic signals. This regulates brain function and blocks faulty nerve signals that cause tremors, slowness, stiffness and problems with walking.”
Applying a 5G solution
However, one drawback to this technique arises when the neurostimulator, which is implanted under the patient’s skin like a pacemaker, needs to be adjusted. This normally requires the patient to be hospitalised.
“We designed and built a wearable transmitter called the Neuralibre, which would connect to the patient’s DBS unit,” said Francesco. “This system sends and receives medical data across 5G, adapting the treatment automatically, allowing the remote participation of a healthcare professional. The result is a highly personalised therapy that doesn’t require the patient to be hospitalised.”
One team to change the future
Pushing the boundaries of healthcare technology to create a better future requires expert contributions from a variety of disciplines. Francesco and Mario Ambrosino, an economist and theoretical physicist by training, were grouped with two biomedical engineers, Martina Giangrieco and AlfonsoDe Vivo, as well as Giovanni Crisci, another economist.
“They knew us better than we knew ourselves,” said Francesco. “They could tell which other students would complement our abilities and interests, and who would stretch us in new ways.”
A synthesis of skills
For Mario, one of the most important lessons was about working together. “At the Academy, Capgemini taught us the importance of teamwork. Over the seven months of the project, we blended our expertise together and came up with something we’re all really proud of.”
Whether 5G delivers on its promise across so many sectors depends on innovations like Neuralibre, and collaborators like Francesco and Mario working together towards a common goal: to shape the future they want and improve the lives of people around the world.