WiFi Is King at Kaiser
Hospitals and care facilities are quickly becoming pocket universes of networked wireless devices and medical grade sensors.
If you are building a medical device for use in a hospital, think WiFi and think twice about anything else — including Bluetooth and purpose-built medical networks, said a director of wireless product management and engineering at Kaiser Permanente in a talk at the BioMeDevices event here.
WiFi is king at Kaiser, a healthcare provider with $50 billion in annual revenues that manages 28,000 access points and 1.1 million Ethernet ports, said Shawn M. Jackman. Kaiser is testing a cellular network using small cells, but is trying to keep Bluetooth devices off its widely deployed, and crowded 2.4 GHz network.
Jackson told device makers here to leverage WiFi, especially the 5GHz version. Like many hospitals, Kaiser finds it pervasive, cheap, yet relatively reliable and secure. Devices should be tested rigorously for environments with many access points, security models, and consumer and clinical applications, he said.
Everything is going wireless. Our care givers are inherently mobile — they don’t sit around a desk — so the appetite for mobile is huge,” he said.
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