Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 16, 2012

Lowell General Hospital to Implement Wireless LAN to Support M2M Medical Devices

New WLAN is set to support records keeping, health monitors and communications systems.

Lowell General Hospital, an independent not-for-profit community hospital which serves the Lowell, Massachusetts area, has chosen Aruba Networks, Inc. to implement a wireless LAN network. The network will support wireless medical devices as well as certain approved employee owned devices. 

The wireless network should provide enhanced access for physicians and hospital staff to patient information and critical hospital applications from remote locations. 

Aruba’s wireless LAN network will meet HIPPA privacy and other security standards, thereby safeguarding sensitive patient information. In addition to meeting the project’s security requirements, Aruba’s system should also satisfy the hospital’s growing need for improved patient care and greater personnel efficiency.

Lowell General Hospital, like many healthcare organizations, is recognizing the growth of health devices that access its wireless network. Heart monitors, EKG machines and other biotelemetry devices are examples of critical hospital equipment that will network with the local LAN network. 

In addition to proprietary hospital equipment, many physicians and healthcare professionals are also supplying personal devices that perform critical functions and require access to wireless networks.

This greater burden upon the hospital’s network and the prospect of increasing demands on M2M systems prompted hospital administration to request proposals for a more robust wireless network. After receiving submissions from six vendors, Lowell General Hospital accepted Aruba’s proposal for its ability to perform strongly despite significant device usage.

The WLAN will host many applications including electronic medical records databases, clocks, EKG carts, and the Ascom phone system which transmits nurse calls. Additionally, the WLAN will support a patient identification system which should improve healthcare delivery and efficiency.

Greg Panagiotopoulos, Technology Manager for the hospital, underscored the high level of performance he expects from the Aruba WLAN even as the hospital and patient load grows.

Edited by Braden Becker

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