Wireless technology is growing up. It’s no longer a bleeding-edge solution in healthcare. Instead, healthcare enterprises are adopting wireless to solve some of their most pressing problems. A tour of the HIMSS floor indicated that the next big leap for wireless is in the radio frequency identification (RFID) venue. Multiple vendors displayed new wireless tracking and locating systems designed to save healthcare time and resources by instantly locating inventory. Vendors also shared new communications models that further deliver on the promise of wireless: to accelerate clinical decision-making and improve patient care.
Alcatel highlighted at HIMSS06 last week in San Diego its dynamic healthcare communications model, a health care communications solution enabling physicians, nurses and medical staff to advance the workflow processes of health care delivery.
Chris Vuillaume, vice president for marketing and business development, stressed the key role of communication infrastructure in transforming healthcare. Alcatel's portfolio includes integrated voice, data, video and wireless communications solutions aimed at delivering quality, cost-efficient care to patients. These solutions are helping to evolve the dynamic health care communications model by taking patient care from a traditional 'physician-centric' culture to a collaborative, team-based culture where every clinician has direct affect on care and impact on the bottom line.
Through this dynamic communications model, the Alcatel health care solution delivers access to information, provides status and availability of clinicians and enables real-time collaboration resulting in improved patient care. Physicians can be called based on availability and specialty through a 'call by skill' PDA feature.
Eclipsys Corporation and PanGo Networks announced at HIMSS06 last week in San Diego a joint partnership to help hospitals and other healthcare organizations expand the value of existing wireless and mobile networks using active radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
As a PanGo Certified Solutions Partner, Eclipsys will re-sell, deploy and support PanGo’s asset-tracking solution, which enables hospital staff to track hundreds of mobile biomedical assets, from wheelchairs to IV pumps to telemetry equipment, instantly identifying available resources and routing them to where they’re needed most. In addition, the biomedical engineering department can quickly locate specific equipment for routine equipment maintenance, supporting compliance with Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) regulations.
PanGo’s location management solution includes an intuitive end-user application for asset monitoring and reporting, true Wi-Fi active-RFID tags and a location management platform that integrates location data into third-party and custom healthcare and business applications. PanGo Locator leverages any Wi-Fi access point infrastructure as its reader network, eliminating the need for a separate overlay of proprietary hardware and wiring.
InnerWireless, Inc., unveiled Spot, its RF (radio frequency) location system at HIMSS06 last week in San Diego.
Spot provides hospitals with a reliable and cost-effective solution to locate valuable medical equipment and quickly match these items with patients and clinicians who need them. Spot can be rapidly deployed because no data or power cables are pulled when installing the system – making installation simple, fast and scalable, and minimizing infection control issues. Both tags and RF infrastructure are optimized using the 802.15.4 wireless communications standard, thus avoiding the IP address proliferation caused by piggybacking on a hospital’s existing 802.11 wireless data networks. Spot’s open 802.15.4 standard has no impact on a hospital’s 802.11 network, and it is fully compatible with InnerWireless’ core product, the Medical-grade Wireless Utility. Spot is positioned to cost less than 802.11 tracking systems to ease entry for hospitals. Additionally, the Spot RF “beacons” that allow the RFLS tags to be tracked are easy to mount, wireless and do not require hard-wiring – much like a home’s smoke detector. Both the tags and beacons