Monday, May 4, 2009

Wireless gaining ground in Healthcare

Wireless technologies have become almost ubiquitous in our society. Just about every commercial enterprise has fairly mature wireless connectivity for its staff and authorized guests. Healthcare is one glaring exception. Some are seeing that change, however.

In article published today at ComputerWorld, the chief academic officer at Scripps Health, Dr. Eric Topol, expressed his optimism that wireless will finally make some significant headway in the healthcare arena.

Topol cited three reasons for the increasing interest in wireless technologies: bandwidth improvements that enable the transmission of images and other rich medical data, an influx of applications from software vendors, and what he called the "grand success" of recent efforts to improve the quality of patient care through wireless projects.
I agree with Dr. Topol's optimism. However, he left out one critically important driver in this potential market development. The Federal Government is pouring billions into healthcare IT. While those dollars are nominally earmarked for Electronic Medical Records, it is a significant infusion of resources into the market. As more facilities take greater advantage of technology advances, wireless networking will have to keep up. Productivity, convenience and usability will demand it.

Credit where credit is due:
Has the time come for wireless IT in health care?, by Matt Hamblen

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