Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 01, 2010

Healthcare Technology and News: Emerson Unveils a Computing Platform, Implementing a MedDispense System

Metro, a company that lives in the Emerson Storage Solutions business platform, introduced a computing platform, implementing it as a MedDispense system and a wireless mobile workstation at the MEDICA exhibition in Düsseldorf. MedDispense is a drug-dispensing system. The computing platform is based on the Intel Core i7 processor and Altiris Client Management Suite from Symantec. It shows how hospital IT professionals can secure and administer embedded medical devices centrally in the same way as PCs and servers.

The digitization of medical records by healthcare providers and the integration of clinical systems and diagnostic data have resulted in more opportunities to reduce cost, redundancy, administrative burden and medical errors. These can be achieved while optimizing medical care, said company sources.

The “Connected Hospital” concept encompasses patient administration; health monitoring and care; imaging and diagnostics and records management. But network vulnerabilities expose a hospital to the risk of breaching patient confidentiality. There are also chances of impairing patient care due to non-availability of data and attack by cyber criminals.

It was revealed that hospital IT professionals have deployed new procedures for centrally administering the protection and security of network-attached enterprise computing equipment such as PCs, servers and laptops.

However, most embedded digital devices used in hospitals today cannot be controlled or secured in the same way. The Emerson Network Power proof-of-concept demonstrates a unified approach for synergizing advanced remote management features and enhanced security to healthcare computing platforms.

The new proof-of-concept has been implemented as an automated medication dispensing system called MedDispense, as well as a wireless mobile workstation. Both the solutions are offered from Metro, an Emerson company. Also the technology behind this proof-of-concept can be leveraged for other Connected Hospital applications like medical delivery cart or a mobile diagnostic system.

Explaining the technology behind the solution, Emerson sources said that the MATXM-CORE-411-B from Emerson Network Power forms the core, which is a MicroATX format motherboard based on the Intel Core i7 processor. The system runs Altiris Client Management Suite from Symantec, a systems management solution that helps provision, manage and support client based systems.

The Symantec technology provides a familiar user interface for the Intel Active Management Technology feature that the Intel Core i7 processor provides. This helps the IT administrator to remotely connect to, troubleshoot and restart a device on the network even if its operating system has crashed or any other problem has occurred or the system is in sleep mode.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for HealthTechZone. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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