May 27, 2020
The Internet of Healthcare Things IoHT
As healthcare practices continue to digitize and the Internet of Things makes its mark in the healthcare industry, we will see a surge in wireless network-dependent medical devices. The IoT is the continued practice of connecting devices and appliances to a wireless network, providing a modern approach to completing tasks that are traditionally not digitized. In healthcare, the IoHT or IoMT, Internet of Medical Things, refers to various medical devices, processes and practices that doctors rely on to monitor, diagnose and treat patients.
As the IoT flourishes, there will be a massive increase in the number of medical devices connecting to the network, requiring unprecedented amounts of bandwidth. Burgeoning traffic will cause networks to suffer, leading to poor-quality or failed connections on devices. Even if facilities have a strong network today, the reality is, that most of today’s networks are not equipped to handle the next generation of connected environments. Therefore, healthcare organizations looking to support the IoT will first need to evaluate their current wireless network capabilities and plan how to accommodate the burgeoning demand.
Evaluating Your Wireless Network
A reliable network is critical for doctors, nurses and staff to provide the best care possible, but many hospitals and healthcare facilities have spotty coverage and poor connectivity. Supporting infrastructure is required for wearables and other medical devices to maintain a consistent connection with the wireless network.
There are several connectivity infrastructure options that can handle the high traffic that the IoT will bring, such as DAS (distributed antennas systems) and small cells to improve cellular-dependent devices, Wi-Fi, and private CBRS / OnGo networks. These solutions can drastically improve your network connection by propagating signal and optimizing coverage throughout the building. Ultimately, these solutions remove dead zones within the facility and increase bandwidth, allowing doctors and staff to maintain a constant connection while being completely mobile throughout the building.
The stakes are incredibly high for healthcare and, more so than in other industries, healthcare facilities can’t afford network failures. When critical devices fail, it impedes the ability of doctors and healthcare staff to properly care for their patients, which may result in patient injury or death.
Upgrading your Hospital’s Wireless Networks
In preparation for the IoT, hospitals should develop a wireless strategy that accounts for cellular as well as Wi-Fi coverage to maximize effectiveness. Further, custom-designed solutions are the most effective and efficient, as “in-a-box” solutions cannot be configured to adequately meet the unique, complex needs of healthcare environments. The strategy of merely adding more APs can actually hinder your network due to increased interference, rather than strengthen it.
How Connectivity Wireless Can Help
At Connectivity Wireless, we have several state-of-the-art solutions to enable optimal wireless network performance throughout your facility.
Our cellular solutions (including distributed antenna systems, small cell and more), CBRS private networks, and Wi-Fi solutions eliminate dead zones and increase bandwidth, enabling improved work operations and patient care. Each of our custom solutions ensures optimal signal strength and quality to support IoT environments by enabling robust and efficient coverage throughout your facility and grounds.
As connected medical devices become more common in healthcare infrastructure and day-to-day operations, your wireless network strategy needs to incorporate plans to support them. Contact us today to learn how we can help match you with the best technology solution for your healthcare facility!