UMTS is Becoming a New Standard in Medicine

Gets a wireless standard: UMTS

When Rotenburg-based neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Eichmann paddles on the Wuemme river, he always has his “Communicator” with him - a combination of PDA and mobile telephone. Why? One of his assistants in emergency service could need his council and transmit the CT pictures of an emergency patient to him. Mobile transmission technology makes it possible.

Anyone wishing to transmit images wirelessly appreciates the advantages of UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems). But, the implementation of the new technology in profitable applications took longer than expected. That is changing now, however, bit by bit. Eichmann experiences the advantages of fast wireless data transfer first hand: An entire set of CT images lands via UMTS in his paddleboat in no time flat.

While this is also possible via the conventional mobile transmission standards GSM and GPRS, it takes much longer. For this reason, UMTS is slowly becoming the standard for wireless data transmission in medicine - at least with new projects. Since there are still UMTS dead zones, doctors usually work with combination cards that also support the conventional standard in the case of a UMTS blackout.

Dirk Lenzen, dispatcher at the German Red Cross in Niederkassel in the Rhine-Sieg district, is a routine UMTS user. “We are currently equipping the third vehicle with board computers,” Lenzen explains. He considers mobile data transfer from rescue vehicles to be an important advancement. They use a UMTS/GSM combination card from a mobile provider, who is also present with a booth at MEDICA.

The primary application for mobile UMTS is stationary use at large events such as sports festivals or concerts, where the German Red Cross is present with several rescue units. Major accidents with several injured parties, where treatment is partially carried out on the scene, are also cases for UMTS vehicles. “We use UMTS primarily for transmission of administrative patient data and for synchronisation of the board computers with those in the dispatching office,” Lenzen explains.; Source: Messe Düsseldorf