What will the healthcare network look like in the future? You may not have to wait to find out, because the future is already here. In the 21st century, healthcare institutions are as far removed from their late 20th century counterparts as those hospitals were from those of the previous century. What’s changed – and what does it mean for your custom network?
1. Electronic Records Management
The most tech-savvy hospitals don’t use paper records any more. Like law firms, healthcare institutions are switching to electronic records management. Patient details are available on computers, tablets and even smartphones, minimizing the loss of patient data and making it easy to find information quickly. However, that facility has network security implications. Your network has to comply with federal and industry regulations about data management and data protection.
2. Network Speed for Data-Driven Healthcare
Patient care can be a matter of life and death, so your network has to be fast to help hospitals deliver the standard that patients and regulators expect. The average healthcare network is constantly transmitting gigabytes and terabytes of data, and medical staff need this information fast to help them make critical decisions. As one Lumos customer says: “data drives everything” when you’re thinking about ensuring better patient care.
3. An Always-On Network
When people’s lives depend on it, reliable data access is essential. Many healthcare institutions build redundancy into their network and use colocation facilities to ensure that patient data is available and protected. In case of disaster, they can provide the data infrastructure of patient care from a backup location within seconds.
4. Telemedicine and Network Bandwidth
Many hospitals now provide some services remotely, using their networks to deliver patient care via videoconferencing. It’s something schools and universities have been doing for a while. Telemedicine and telepsychiatry mean healthcare institutions can give advice to patients who don’t have easy access to on-site facilities. This has bandwidth implications for your network. It’s the same for medical imaging, something more hospitals are offering. This technology also gives the possible of trans-national and global collaboration on patient care and medical research via video conferencing. In fact, The Guardian suggests that the ability to work from even larger datasets in the future could make it quicker to answer questions about particular diseases.
5. Mobile Medicine
We’ve already mentioned the use of mobile devices within hospitals, but a Wired article suggests they could be used for patient care, for example by mobile apps to deliver examples of physiotherapy exercises. This could reduce the cost of patient care. And who knows, maybe as more doctors connect to the network via mobile devices, the nature of being on-call could change.
All of these changes have implications for the configuration of your custom network, and the use of data and high bandwidth applications is only likely to increase.
Contact Lumos today so you can customize your network, your way!
Learn more about network customization for your business in our series: