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What’s the Diagnosis? How to treat poor connectivity in the healthcare sector

Améliorez votre mauvaise connectivité en intérieur grâce à notre solution pour vitrages existants, WAVETHRU | Installation facile pour retrouver une qualité d'appel parfaite

The face of health and elderly care has changed. Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way we communicate. Today there are wireless devices in patients’ rooms that send updates to the nurse’s station, doctors check diagnostic results and images on their iPads, remote video consultations bring key parties together more easily and emergency buttons provide peace of mind.

Instant, reliable and stable connectivity is fundamental. In everyday life, when this is not possible it can be frustrating. In care situations it can be critical.

For both health and elderly care the secure data exchange is paramount for efficient collaboration and improved care.

What medical data is exchanged?

This dependability is crucial for a wide range of data that is exchanged over the airwaves in a medical environment such as Patient Health Information (PHI) that contains sensitive details about a patient’s health, medical history, diagnoses, treatments, and medications. There are also Electronic Health Records (EHRs) containing comprehensive patient records where reliable and complete delivery ensures accurate information is shared and diagnoses are accurate as well as prescription ordering that requires secure communication to prevent errors and assist timely medication dispensing.

Strong connectivity also helps ensure the stable delivery of remote telemedicine consultations via video calls, voice calls, or chat sessions between healthcare providers and patients. It also aids clear communication for patients and their families which is essential during times of high stress and great worry.

Patients are taking greater ownership of their health too. As such they are seeking increased access to their personal data and leveraging consumer devices to further their health objectives. The result is a rapid rise in the amount of data that is being generated.

What happens if poor connectivity results in a communication breakdown?

Not only do breakdowns in communication add upset to already challenging times they can result in serious consequences for the patient’s safety and quality of care.

Communication failures during patient handoffs (such as shift changes or transfers to other departments) can lead to critical information being lost or miscommunicated. This can result in delayed diagnoses, incorrect treatments, or missed follow-up actions. Within a team of caregivers, breakdowns in communication can hinder effective collaboration while communication gaps between physician and consulting specialists can lead to fragmented care and suboptimal decisions or treatment plans.

Effective communication between healthcare providers and patients is essential. During virtual or telephone consultation, poor connectivity can hinder understanding. It is also vital for family members to be able to reach their loved ones.

In caring for the elderly, emergency buttons are often connected to a mobile phone. In these cases, a robust network is necessary to ensure a timely response.

The 5G treatment plan

The transition from 4G to 5G in healthcare offers numerous advantages, transforming patient care and medical operations. 5G's lower latency and higher speeds enable real-time remote consultations, enhancing access to specialized care. Increased bandwidth and capacity empower seamless transmission of high-quality video for telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. The technology's reliability and speed support streamlined healthcare operations, such as faster mobile unit communication and more connected devices in hospitals.

5G is better placed to support:

  • Remote Patient Monitoring: With 5G’s high speed and reliability, remote patient monitoring becomes more efficient. Real-time data transmission enables healthcare professionals to monitor patients from a distance, ensuring timely interventions and personalized care.

  • Augmented Reality Assisted Robotic Surgery: 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth facilitate augmented reality (AR) applications during surgery. Surgeons can access real-time imaging, overlaying critical information on their field of view, enhancing precision and safety.

  • Wearable Monitors: Wearable devices connected via 5G can continuously track vital signs, detect anomalies, and alert patients and healthcare providers. This promotes proactive self-care and early intervention.

  • Connected Ambulances: 5G enables seamless communication between ambulances, hospitals, and emergency responders. High-quality video streaming and real-time data exchange enhance decision-making during critical situations.

  • High-quality video calling: Telemedicine and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) visualization in diagnosis and treatment is better supported by 5G.

  • Modernized network: 5G technology, equipped with specialized radios for indoor coverage, can meet the demands of nurse call systems, mobile charting, and other applications.

For patients, the benefits include better self-care, reduced hospital stays, improved care quality, shorter wait times, and overall health improvements.

Current cures

A number of technologies help enhance and boost connectivity such Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) which is a network of antennas connected to a common source and distributed throughout a building to extend coverage. These systems can be costly starting at 60.000 EUR and there are other considerations, for example in Belgium, DAS users have to enter a mid to long term legally binding contract to 1 operator and while it could work with several operators, local companies are reluctant to work with one another. They also require regular maintenance and power connection.

Another option is sensors or repeaters that amplify connectivity. They continually monitor WLAN performance and identify issues with interference, coverage, congestion or configuration. These are more affordable at 12.000 EUR but can meet regulatory pushback. In the Netherlands, it is illegal to place a passive antenna on the roof.

5G – the best prescription

An invisible, easy to install, maintenance free, cost-effective solution that requires no infrastructure changes is WAVETHRU from WAVE by AGC. It improves the transmission of radio frequencies with a laser glass surface treatment. Its innovative and seamless technology enhances mobile connectivity without the need for mobile boosters and is compatible with all mobile network operators and technologies, including 5G. It helps reduce the reliance on Wi-Fi and costly repeaters and preserves network security and privacy.

To learn more about how to improve the well-being of your connectivity in health and elderly care environments, talk to the WAVE by AGC team.

Want to know more on how to enhance the mobile communication experience in the healthcare sector and to ensure a safe environment? 



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