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Accelerating healthcare through mobility and analytics

Gary Newbold, Vice President, Asia-Pacific and Japan, Extreme Networks | Nov. 13, 2014
The increased use of mobile devices in the hospital, whether by medical staff, patients or guests, requires high-performance network infrastructure that is able to guarantee seamless connectivity and security at the same time.

Half of the world's mobile users are in Asia Pacific, with 1.7 billion unique mobile subscribers in the region at the end of 2013 out of the 3.4 billion global subscriber base. The number of Asia Pacific subscribers is expected to grow by 5.5 per cent a year (CAGR) until 2020, reaching 2.4 billion.

Mobility is also being greatly adopted in healthcare. According to Frost & Sullivan, it has been fuelled by the unprecedented spread of mobile technologies, as well as advancements in their innovative application to address health priorities. It is largely supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other wireless devices. More and more mobile solutions are being introduced and implemented in hospitals to enable higher quality patient care, increased patient satisfaction and increased clinician satisfaction.

That being said, the increased use of mobile devices in the hospital, whether by medical staff, patients or guests, requires high-performance network infrastructure that is able to ride the mobility wave in healthcare, provide better management and availability of critical applications within the network, while guaranteeing seamless connectivity and security at the same time.

Access demand

Besides patients and guests tapping onto the hospital networks, doctors and other clinical staff at hospitals are also increasingly bringing in mobile devices to the workplace, seeking to use them at point of care. Additionally, virtualized desktop solutions are fast becoming the norm with clinical access to mobile systems such as electronic medical records (EMR).

This is the standard of services that have come to be expected from all hospitals. But while they allow for greater satisfaction for everyone in the hospital, a balance between guest and clinical operations usage within the network needs to be ensured, resulting in the need for an adapted network infrastructure that can support all these ongoing processes simultaneously.

Connectivity demand

The influx of end-user devices accessing the hospital network comes along with the demand for consistent, reliable and continuously available connectivity, especially on the hospital wireless LAN. The wireless networks within any hospital or healthcare institution, therefore, need to be properly fortified for any amount of traffic, as it caters to not only the staff within the hospital or clinic, but to patients and guests' mobile usage as well.

Network infrastructure, wireless networking, wired switches may not seem to be topics as glamorous nor at the forefront of patient care initiatives. In truth however, they form the critical foundation working behind the scenes to support the BYOD trend, which is increasingly leveraging hospital networks such as Wi-Fi, and enhanced networking capabilities around virtualization support and expanded WLANs are the foundation for enabling virtualized systems and solutions within hospitals.

 

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