Saving lives with roving LANs

By Jim Geier, Network World |  Operating Systems

The GPS onboard lets the area hospital know the exact time and location of the ambulance, to best schedule emergency room staff and other treatment resources. This informaation lets the hospital fully prepare the right emergency staff and resources long before the ambulance arrives. It's just-in-time treatment for incoming patients.

The National Board of Health and Welfare chose Swedish system integrator Hogia Raddningssystem to implement the IS Swede program. Hogia, a Symbol partner, used Ericsson products for the Mobitex wireless WAN and TietoEnator Trigon for the software. Hogia officials say the project went smoothly and recommends the formation of a solid partnership with the appropriate suppliers for hardware and software, especially when the solution has the technical breadth of IS Swede.

Because a system like IS Swede requires power from a mobile platform, Hogia also recommends that designers of a roving wireless LAN carefully consider electrical power requirements. The mobile platform, such as an ambulance, needs to supply sufficient electrical power for the additional communications equipment. In this application, battery life for the access point is equally important as battery life in the handheld device.

The positive results of IS Swede provide a blueprint for hospitals in other countries to follow. In addition to saving lives, the concept of a roving wireless LAN can apply to similar applications, such as parcel tracking at delivery locations (via delivery trucks), evidence tracking at crime scenes (via police cars) and repair order management at repair sites (via repair trucks).

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