Infotech Lead America: Meru Networks, provider of virtualized wireless LAN solutions, announced the Meru ‘Uninterrupted Care Network’ (UCN) – a new solution that utilizes a single wirelessnetwork to enable hospitals to offer wireless support for a range of “Life-Critical,” “Mission-Critical” and “Consumer-Critical” devices and applications.
UCN is designed to lower the costs and complexity of supporting “Life-critical” devices and applications such as Wi-Fi-enabled telemetry. It can be deployed as an overlay to existing wireless and wired networks.
UCN helps hospitals meet requirements associated with Meaningful Use and relieve the burden placed on networks and IT departments by BYOD. It also supports hospitals’ efforts to improve patient safety, clinician productivity, and ensure patient satisfaction.
Meru is able to create separate Wi-Fi channel layers that allows hospitals to offer the benefits of mobility for Wi-Fi enabled “Life Critical” devices such as telemetry. These layers help ensure reliable connectivity for those devices on their own dedicated wireless channel layers.
One set of wireless channels can be dedicated for life critical applications and devices like smart infusion pumps and Wi-Fi enabled telemetry devices. A second channel layer can be used exclusively for “Mission Critical” applications and devices. UCN can provide a “Consumer-Critical” layer that will enable patients to connect with friends and family using the internet, further improving patient satisfaction scores.
Meru’s UCN is built on top of Meru’s Wireless Virtualization technology, designed to enable constant connectivity, reliability and seamless mobility for mobile devices and applications like nurse call, voice communications and mobile carts even in harsh hospital RF environments. Meru’s AirTime Fairness allows each device access according to its need, thereby delivering predictable application performance.
“Meaningful Use” requirements are leading to greater adoption of technologies such as CPOE, barcode medication administration, VoIP and nurse-call communications while “Value Based Purchasing” criterion include patient satisfaction scores (HCAHPS), which rely on technologies such as Unified Communications.
“Consumer-Critical” uses of the Wi-Fi network, which range from simple texting to streaming HD video and using videoconferencing applications were carefully considered in the development of UCN.
Meru’s Identity Manager (IDM) enables hospitals to secure guest access and device provisioning on wireless networks so that IT has a reduced workload. It enables clinicians to self-provision their tablets (BYOD) daily, with the tablets disconnecting themselves from the network when the doctors leave for home to ensure patient data security.
Service Assurance Manager automatically performs predictive health checks and notifies administrators before end users are impacted. UCN’s Service Assurance capability can detect and report latency problems as well as issues in the end-to-end network connectivity. It can also detect Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi interference from devices such as microwave ovens that may impact the quality and reliability of the Wi-Fi network.