10 Hot Networking Products For Health Care4:51 PM EST Thu. Mar. 04, 2010
Cisco this week launched HealthPresence, a healthcare-specific collaboration suite that combines TelePresence and other tools from Cisco's unified communications portfolio. The idea, according to Cisco, is to allow clinicians and healthcare providers the ability to conference over video as in the normal TelePresence fashion, but also provide them healthcare-specific tools that work with the video immersion experience. Those included Cisco Vitals Software, which performs high-definition video streaming and physiological data capture for patients, and specialized medical equipment such as an ear-nose-throat camera, a digital stethoscope and vital signs testers.
Patient Admit Coordinator, a system from Avaya that uses various messaging tools like e-mail and IM to notify various departments in a hospital about patients in an emergency room, was one of four new healthcare-specific products from Avaya at HIMSS. The others, all in the realm of collaboration, UC and messaging, include Mobile Device Checkout, a system for tracking mobile devices, Nurse Call Response, which allows patients to reach nurses directly on their mobile devices and not be routed to a nurse station, and Patient Appointment Reminder, a notification system that sends automated messages to patients to remind them about upcoming appointments.
AeroScout's latest healthcare offerings are the T2u Wi-Fi Ultrasound Tag (at far left) and the T2s Wristband Tag (near left), both part of the company's Patient Flow portfolio. AeroScout specializes in unified asset visibility products for healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and other vertical markets. Among features in the newer releases, the Wristband tag (T2s) is not only Wi-Fi enabled, but also includes an embedded ultrasound receiver and can offer enterprise-wide and room-level visibility, according to the company.
Polycom at HIMSS showed off a configured telepresence package for patient care in a hospital setting, integrating voice, video and applications. Those included Polycom's HDX telepresence system (which uses H.264 High Profile video compression for HD video), the Polycom Practitioner Cart HDX, Polycom's Converged Management Application Desktop designed for PC-based video communications at 720p high-def video, Polycom's SpectraLink wireless, SIP-integrated phones with the Rauland-Borg Responder 5 Nurse Call system and Stryker Smart Bed Monitoring products included, and Polycom's VVX 1500 business media phone with integrated touchscreen. Polycom is further offering grant writing resources through its 7-Step Grant Assistance Process, which is intended to help healthcare organizations qualify for stimulus and other healthcare-based grants using Polycom products.
Meru Networks on Wednesday debuted its i-series, a new portfolio of wireless access points designed for 802.11n at both 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz frequency bands, but also to support legacy 802.1a/b/g devices. According to Meru, the first of the new i-series access points, AP320i (pictured), is the company's most technology advanced access point, relying on Meru's virtual cell architecture to support HD Video, VoIP services and 99.99 percent wireless network availability. Meru has designed the AP for both wall and ceiling mounts, and it also includes an orthagonal array beam forming (OABF) antenna system.
The ShoreWare Professional Call Manager remains one of ShoreTel's go-tos for business communications, including integrated SoftPhone, desktop video with resolution up to 640 x 480, and instant messaging capabilities. ShoreTel was co-presenting at HIMSS alongside representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, the non-profit long-term care provider which demonstrated how ShoreTel UC package, which includes Professional Call Manager, could improve resident care and coordination across its 200 nationwide offices. The Society's deployment includes 17,000 end users supported, and uses about 5,000 mobile devices. Health care has been an ongoing focus area for ShoreTel, which in January launched ShoreTel 10, the updated version of its UC software.
VeriWave offers Wi-Fi performance testing products and services, and in February launched Mobile Healthcare Test Suite, designed for IT administrators and Wi-Fi medical device developers to test user satisfaction and network reliability. The full suite includes device development of 802.11-enabled hardware and driver testing, QoS, functional testing and interoperability testing with third-party devices, as well as network design and deployment services, such as vendor selection, AP capacity planning and integration of Wi-Fi with Ethernet infrastructure. VeriWave's suite also provides ongoing device management for new devices in the network, and testing for 802.11n upgrades. The components of the suite include performance tester software called WaveClient (diagrammed at left), a mobile medical device tester called WaveInsite, and various test plans.
At HIMSS, Aruba and Motion Computing announced a combined product set specific to healthcare that combines Aruba's 802.11n access points, virtual branch networking and policy-enforcement firewall with Motion's C5 Mobile Clinical Assistants and Clinical Workstations. The Aruba gear and applications support the use of voice, video, data and other unified communications tools on the Motion units, offering a collaboration suite through which users can securely access EMR and clinical documentation, perform computerized physician order entry (CPOE), manage electronic medication administration records (EMAR), which include bar-code checks in realtime, and do mobile image consulting over a network.
Motorola debuted its new wireless LAN management offering at both HIMSS and RSA this week, positioning it as a vendor-agnostic centralized tool for managing complex WLAN environments. The overall offering, which comes from Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions division, includes the company's Centralized Management Console, an interface for configuring various devices within the WLAN. Motorola is also offering AirDefense Services Platform, an offering that combines WLAN infrastructure management, a Wireless Intrusion Prevention System with compliance reporting tools built in, and various network assurance tools designed to work with Motorola access points like the tri-radio AP-7131 (seen at left). Motorola also used HIMSS to launch its latest data capture product for healthcare settings, the DS6878-HC cordless 2D imager.
MobileAccess, which offers distributed antenna system (DAS) infrastructure to support in-building wireless deployments, has made a number of investments toward growing its channel in the past few months, including the launch of a VAR Advisory Council, a new partner portal for VARs, and MobileAccess Online University, a new training program. Among MobileAccess' partnered infrastructure offerings are cellular services for BlackBerry and other mobile devices, wireless medical telemetry (integrated in partnership with General Electric), un-tethered clinical devices and applications (in partnership with Alaris, for wireless IV pumps, Patient Keeper, for data management, and others), and third-party WLAN and VoIP applications, including Vocera badges and Cisco 7921 VoIP phones.