Wireless in Health Care

January 8, 2013

Hospitals and other health care facilities have increasingly been using wireless technology to support their various applications and requirements. These systems include both in-building wireless LANs (WLANs) or WiFi as it is more commonly known, and building to building wireless connections. Furthermore, the maturity of wireless network security protocols has made wireless systems as secure as any other part of the network.

Wireless networks allow healthcare facilities to integrate a multitude of applications designed to streamline hospital operations, including patient tracking, security, prescription distribution, and, perhaps most important in a disaster, communication. In-building wireless communication over a WiFi network allows healthcare professionals who must exchange information in mission-critical situations to bypass overloaded cellular circuits, avoid using overhead paging in a likely noisy setting, and maintain adherence to disaster preparedness plans. For several hospitals in the United States, communication during disaster drills and disaster situations has become easier than ever with the use of an innovative communication solution.

Medical applications are among the most demanding in terms of network capacity, real-time performance, mission-critical reliability, and data security. Fiber optic cabling has in the past been the primary technology of choice to provide these requirements, however it is often difficult or costly to connect fiber to buildings across city streets or beyond the main campus. High capacity wireless systems can provide fiber equivalent performance together with fiber equivalent security. Applications such as electronic patient records and high-resolution medical imaging are well-supported with full GigE bandwidth and ultra-low latency performance. The current generation of wireless building-to-building systems have very narrow beamwidths that form "spatial pipes" between the ends, providing data security that is superior to inter-building fiber cabling. The physical security provided by these systems make them an important option for implementing HIPAA-compliant networks.

Direct Network Services has the RF expertise to support both indoor and building to building requirements. Our customers include a number of health care organizations who rely on our wireless systems to support their applications. For more information about how we can support your wireless requirements contact us at 978-952-6000 or email us at sales@directnetserv.com

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