Sprint shows speech-enabled mobile devices geared for patient data

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Sprint at HIMSS07 last week demonstrated its mobile healthcare technology developed with business partners to give healthcare providers a user-friendly way to capture and retrieve of clinical data at the point-of-care or, essentially, from any location. Sprint’s wireline data and security portfolio also can support the complex needs of healthcare networks, the company said.

Particularly highlighted at the show was Sprint’s developments that have followed from key partners like Vocera Communications and Nuance Communications to offer speech-enabled mobile solutions that help hospitals, clinics and other service organizations streamline operations, accelerate access to information, reduce costs and improve patient care.

Sprint and Vocera Communications worked together to extend Vocera’s communications system to wide area networks (WAN) by offering core Vocera functions on Sprint and Nextel handsets operating on both the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel National Network. With this new solution, mobile workers, including physicians, nurses and the hospital staff, will be able to communicate instantly beyond the four walls of a hospital building, thus extending the workplace. Specifically, this solution will allow a physician or attending nurse outside the hospital to communicate at all times with his or her staff wearing Vocera badges by using the walkie-talkie feature on their Sprint and Nextel handsets. The ability to communicate instantly with critical resources without being physically present in the hospital is crucial to making timely decisions that can save lives, especially during an emergency.

Sprint also is working with Nuance Communications to introduce a custom speech-enabled healthcare voice technology that gives healthcare professionals wireless voice access to critical data including medical records. This new speech-enabled technology, simplifies the workflow process by allowing physicians to access current patient information such as medication, lab results and patient status directly on their Sprint handheld devices, both inside and outside the hospital. With this technology, a physician can dictate his requirements directly to the phone and obtain current information. The ability to access information at all times improves the overall productivity of the caregiver and enables effective patient management.

"Healthcare organizations of all sizes are facing a wide range of challenges including rising costs, increased regulatory and reporting requirements, demands for improved patient care, and workforce shortages," said Bill Montgomery, national director of healthcare sales for Sprint. "Wireless technology, particularly the products and services Sprint offers in conjunction with technology providers like Vocera, Nuance and Meditech, helps mitigate these challenges by providing anytime, anywhere access to mission-critical data and improving the communications amongst caregivers, resulting in enhanced patient care."

Software provider Meditech demonstrated this new technology with Sprint and Nuance at the show.