Wireless Technology: Creating a New Dimension in Patient Care -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Monash Medical Centre and Princess Margaret hospital for Children deserve the credit for implementing the wireless network in Australia, soon after its introduction in the market. Implemented on a trial basis in the neurology and emergency wards respectively, the hospitals are confident about the profound benefits wireless technology can offer to the healthcare industry.

The technology is an integral part of healthcare to access critical information and facts to facilitate effective treatment.

Australian hospitals have a perception that the integration of healthcare with emerging technologies such as wireless, telemetry and others would be a powerful tool in serving the need for instant access to latest information about patients, irrespective of their location in the hospital.

Before such integration, doctors and nurses had to move between their workstations and patient bedsides to record vital signs for documentation. However, with the advent of wireless communication, it has been possible to solve this challenge.

Key benefits of wireless technology are as follows:

>Reduces wait time for physicians, as results of laboratory and radiology can be retrieved immediately using wireless network.

>Minimizes documentation work
Wireless communication helps faster flow of patient information between departments. In addition to this, it increases accuracy and reduces human error.

Service providers in these hospitals are satisfied with the fact that they can initiate instant treatment on viewing the laboratory and radiology results using the wireless network.

Australia is in the early stages of adapting wireless network in the healthcare industry. After its introduction, quite a few hospitals have implemented it on a trial basis, confining it to specific departments. The transition happening in Australian healthcare through new technology introduction has picked up pace.

However, the use of wireless technology created the following concerns among the Australian hospitals:

>Interference with medical equipment

>Security of data while transmitting through a wireless network

Upon testing, it was perceived that the signal generation is not likely to have any impact on the performance of medical equipment. Similarly, there are adequate encryptions and protocols used in these networks for ensuring the security of data.

Market poised for growth:

The Australian wireless technology market in the healthcare industry is the hot hub of the telecommunication setup as it makes information more reliable and flexible.

As Wireless uses radio signals to receive and transmit data , clinicians find it easier to get a consolidated report from varied groups such as physicians, nurses, laboratories and imaging centers at one focal point, enabling faster diagnosis and treatment.

In 2005, the adoption rate for wireless in Australia is low due to high pricing and the lack of funds. However, it is observed that there is a high potential for growth in this market.

Although there was an initial resistance to wireless technology from the end users because of price factors, they find it hard to resist the attraction offered, and this market is likely to witness a period of marked growth in the next 3-4 years. Clinicians in these hospitals perceive wireless technologies will act as strong bases for their hospitals to manage inter - departmental activities in an effective manner.

Australian hospitals agree that the confusion caused by traditional methods of maintaining papers and files have been solved due to the adoption of wireless technology that offers solutions for exchanging information easily between various departments.

Australia has many participants offering wireless technology solutions. They have been consistently working to improve the efficiency of healthcare providers through these solutions.

Moreover, with participants offering competitive solutions and leveraging their key strengths and benefits, it is very likely that wireless networks is all set for growth in Australia.

For further information please contact:

Katja Feick
Corporate Communications
+44 (0) 207 915 7856