Heart problems run in my family.
Most of the men on my dad's side, in fact, lived with and sometimes died from various forms of heart disease.
My own father had his first heart attack at 41.
I'm 43 today, and after a lifetime of usually passive but occasionally very active warnings about my “unfortunate inheritance,” as he called it, I carry nitroglycerin pills everywhere I go.
I keep my heart health under close watch by seeing my cardiologist on a regular basis and going through routine diagnostic procedures like stress tests and echocardiograms, but the specter continues to lurk.
Arrhythmia can strike at any moment. The blood flow through an artery with a previously undetected blockage could go from just sufficient to catastrophic in an instant.
It could be so sudden and so incapacitating that even with those nitroglycerin pills in my pocket, I might not have the time or the strength to reach for them.
The scariest part of all: This isn't some rare condition. Over 200,000 Americans die each year in the first hour after the initial onset of symptoms of cardiac distress — some in the first minutes.
It's a hell of a way to live, thinking about this on a daily basis. But in the very near future, it might all become a thing of the past.
No More Waiting and Wondering?
One of the least talked about but, in my mind, one of the exciting technologies on the cusp of entry into the commercial market is remote patient monitoring.
It reads like science fiction.
Tiny devices are implanted in the user's body to monitor things like organ function, vital signs, heart rhythm, and anything else prescribed by a physician.
For people with my genetic predispositions, this would include a specific focus on the circulatory system — not just the heart itself, but the network of arteries pumping blood around the body and into the heart muscle itself.
So while the very first symptom of heart disease can be death, signs that trouble is coming can come minutes, hours, or even days before and remain undetected by the patient until it's too late.
With remote patient monitoring devices keeping steady track of cardiac function from inside the body and communicating this information to a centralized database, cardiac patients of the future will be able to arrive at the emergency room before the emergency has taken place.
A solution like this has the potential to take a major bite out of annual heart disease mortality — still the #1 killer of Americans today.
This solution depends on a lot of various technologies working in concert, but none of it will be possible without the network itself.
The Next Information Superhighway Is Here
5G, the next-generation wireless internet network, which will expand bandwidth to allow for an unprecedented number of devices to operate at unprecedented speed, needs to be in place before such things as remote patient monitoring can be achieved on anything approaching a mass scale.
Right now, around the world in major cities and in small towns, the push to get this network up and running is in full swing.
In the next five to 10 years, 5G will transform the way we communicate, the way we live, and as remote patient monitoring promises, the way we combat our deadliest medical ailments.
The infrastructural investment required to make it happen is going to be immense.
5G, unlike 4G (which runs off the same old cell towers that we're all used to seeing as we drive past them), can project its signals from light poles and electrical poles, but the problem is that you need them in much greater number. The reason: 4G wavelengths have a range of 10 miles. 5G, only 1,000 feet…
You Think Things Have Changed Since 1990? Just Wait…
This problem is global. The race to universal 5G connectivity is being run in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, with hundreds of billions invested.
Companies in this business today don't just stand to profit; they stand to become the foundation of tomorrow's economy, which will depend as much on this next-gen network as today's businesses rely on basic internet.
Medical marvels like remote patient monitoring will be just one among dozens of revolutionary new technologies that will be hitting the commercial and consumer markets before the end of this decade.
For investors, the big puzzle is finding the one which maximizes the gain potential while minimizing the pitfalls, of which there are many.
Briton Ryle, one of my fellow editors here at Wealth Daily, has found what we all believe is the perfect solution to this puzzle.
He specializes in balancing risk and reward so it pays to hear him out.
You can access his video presentation on his favorite 5G play right here.
It's absolutely free, but it won't stay available for long.
Fortune favors the bold,