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Wireless Solutions Preserve Investments

Wireless technologies have been shaping new expectations of patients about medical healthcare at home and in hospitals.

ID: 1000334
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(businesspress24) - They have drastically changed diagnostic methods through wire-free sensors and related technologies and they have provided faster and efficient patient data collection for nurses, doctors and even the hospital accounting departments, creating - in combination with IT/DDBB components - flexible and paperless workflows in hospitals. Wireless technology also delivers increased safety through the elimination of current flows, simply by taking away the cabling.

Safety, flexibility, home healthcare…the business benefits are appealing and attractive, and may lead to overhasty decisions to adopt wireless solutions. However, this may prove to offer many options and alternatives. And of course, the different technologies will only be the right choice if the individual application is understood correctly.

A short list of technologies includes RFID, Bluetooth, ZigBee, WLAN, GSM/GPRS/UMTS… amongst others. The list of applications may become even longer: remote patient monitoring, alarm systems, patient data collection, and patient location for example.

The adoption of wireless technologies will either imply the acquisition of wireless-enabled devices, or the provision of wireless connectivity to existing devices. The costs for adoption may be too high when purchasing new equipment, or they will dismiss the business benefits due to a slower, phase by phase adoption.

The attractiveness of adding wireless connectivity to existing devices though, is based on much lower financial investment and the potential to adapt it to multiple devices. The trade off is that it requires integration.

Specialized system integrators have widely used serial to wireless/Ethernet servers, wireless access points or GSM/GPRS solutions to bridge and link operational medical equipments to wireless networks. Even further, embedded versions of the serial servers may be integrated into the electronic design to deploy new models of existing equipment with enhanced communication capabilities.

As an application example, consider a patient being monitored. Several devices may be collecting data, followed by blood analysis some time later, and a nurse will have to compile all the information for later ward round or review.

In a wireless enabled environment - either completely wireless or mixed with Ethernet - different monitoring devices will be sending data associated with a patient ID to a database system. When looking after patients, a nurse only has to press one button to automatically connect the different data - instead of verifying each of the single devices. Back at her desk, she can easily check the transferred patient data and produce a report.

To help deploying such wireless solutions, Moxa offers serial to wireless servers, wireless access points, and GSM/GPRS and wireless computing platforms if front-processing is required. Special embedded modules are aimed at device manufacturers interested in adding wireless connectivity to their devices´ electronic design.
With existing customer such a Roche, Siemens Medical and many others, we understand the value of integrating – wireless or wired – legacy devices into networks to lower the investment costs of achieving the business benefits of networked solutions.

A particularly interesting healthcare application was developed by a leading company in this sector with focus on diagnostics. They are using Moxa´s serial to Ethernet device servers – wired models this case. The company collected measurement results from existing serial devices and fed them into the hospital´s database system over the Ethernet network. They developed the database and the required software to collect and summarize the information and generate reports. No more manual notes where required and the need for manual, error prone notes was eliminated. The solution delivered time saving, increased data accuracy and safety.

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published by: SonjaBoldt
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Date: 12/14/2007 - 11:38
Language: English
News-ID 1000334
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