Delivering Critical Care Connectivity: now and into the future
Connecting the world is more important than ever. How can we help health care staff, patients, and support workers stay connected to the people, places, and things that matter the most?
It’s a funny feeling writing this blog from my home, instead of an Ericsson office or an airplane. Times have certainly changed and everyone is adapting to this “new normal”. At Ericsson, we have been working around the clock to ensure the networks we provide and support are delivering the highest performance to keep loved ones connected and essential services running seamlessly. And those who are at the frontlines deserve the very best – including robust connectivity for nurses, doctors, patients, and support workers.
Cellular networks for hospitals and clinics are not a new concept, but the need for this type of connectivity is on the top of everyone’s mind these days. What are the necessary requirements for an indoor network like this? There are quite a few – some unique to a hospital environment and some not. I’ve included this nice summary chart for your perusal and then I’ll delve into some greater detail below.
|Multi-operator support||Ensure everyone is connected|
|IoT support||Device tracking, AR/VR, remote surgeries|
|Limited install disruption||Small radios and ease of installation|
|# of devices supported||Future proof solutions needed to avoid upgrade disruption as # of devices increase|
|User experience||Ensure data throughput > 50 Mbps on each device|
Privacy regulation, data protection, encryption, and access and core network security
|Private Network functionality||CBRS (US-specific) and other private frequencies globally, additional options for dedicated networks in hospitals|
Requirements like multi-operator support and high quality user experience are fairly common “asks” for indoor networks globally, regardless of deployment site. But hospitals should (and will!) need these two and more. Limiting overall interruptions to install new equipment across a hospital or health care facility is extremely important – easy to install solutions should be selected. Looking to the future, IoT and Private Network support will become increasingly important as hospitals transform to a more digital workplace.
The thought of undergoing a remote surgical procedure conducted by a robot or a secure online consultation with my doctor have until just recently been quite an ”extraordinary” thought for me, as those applications rely on an ultra-reliable internet connection. Robotic surgery, for example, is conducted using haptic feedback and high definition image streaming, demanding a low-latency and high throughput communication. There are also Critical IoT use cases and applications in healthcare that may require 1-20msend-to-end latency and reliability as high as 99.9999%. Robust cellular connectivity will therefore be imperative to ensure that the tools, applications, and even devices, are always connected to fulfill the demands of a digitalized hospital.
So, whether you are a hospital worker, administrator, or a patient or visitor, the need to connect within hospital walls is more important now more than ever. The Ericsson Radio Dot has been deployed in hospitals across the globe – supporting staff and patients alike – and the solution fulfills each of the requirements in the chart above. In the world of today, and into the world of tomorrow, we need to ensure that the very people who heal us and work to find answers, will stay connected. Let’s highlight the connectivity needs of health care establishments and deploy simple, and high performing solutions.
Interested in learning more? Our team has put together a great brochure that includes two case studies.
Read the brochure here