By the mid-2000s, mobile healthcare technologies were already familiar to HealthAlliance Hospital. Traditional wireless capabilities had enabled mobile solutions such as wireless carts and telemetry systems.
However, the wireless infrastructure was limited. Various wireless functions require services of multiple carriers, complicating HealthAlliances management efforts. Multiple cellular carriers with poor signal strength also meant an increased risk of interference with biomedical equipment.
In addition, there were many dead spots in places like elevators, stairwells, and other locations. Spotty coverage increased the occurrence of communications failures.
Finally, because of rapid-fire advances in mobile healthcare technology (such as wVoIP), HealthAlliances team was faced with the challenge of managing an increasing array of wireless options. The prospect of continuously expanding new mobile technologies was beginning to look like a logistical tangle involving many more wireless service providers and costly installations.
HealthAlliance needed a solution allowing growth and interoperability with emerging technologies while providing uninterrupted wireless coverage in all areas. Simply adding wireless vendors to handle new applications would compound a growing problem. For example, incorporating fire, police, and ambulance communications onto one system would mean enabling devices like two-way radios, pagers, and PDAs. Each of these might call for its own antenna, require individual installations that are expensive, time-consuming, disruptive and create increased infection risk among patients.
Clearly, HealthAlliance needed an integrated wireless solution that would handle the hospitals current and future mobile healthcare needs.