Essential medical services are more dependent on having reliable and stable connectivity than any other sector at the moment. The need for telemedicine, online consultations, record keeping and communication are vital to support the healthcare system and work towards alleviating the strain it is under and the strain expected to come.
Although South Africa has worked hard fighting against COVID-19, it is acknowledged, by the president, that there is still a long way to eradicate this virus – despite swift action taken to flatten the curve which is positive in contrast to some first world countries that are taking on thousands of new cases every day. However, now, more than ever, we need to prepare our healthcare infrastructure system to handle the number of cases to come in the coming weeks and months.
“We have already seen the Gauteng Health Department take such provisions as temporarily converting the Nasreq Expo Centre into a makeshift COVID-19 isolation and quarantine site,” said Charl Ducray, MiRO’s product manager for Cambium Networks.
From a technology perspective, temporary medical facilities such as this, as well as permanent public hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics will need to ensure that they are equipped with the required wireless and networking technology to support their operations. MiRO in partnership with Cambium Networks aim to aid the COVID-19 fight with enterprise Wi-Fi and networking equipment that can cope with the demands that healthcare facilities will typically face.
“Medical facilities present one of the most demanding challenges to any Wi-Fi network as you have a large number of people that are densely populated within a specific area. More importantly, communications that are supported by a health network are critical as the slightest delay can potentially result in a loss of life.”
A wireless network can rapidly and efficiently be set up to support video conferencing for healthcare professionals, provide secure access to patient records and high bandwidth to provide seamless conference calling and data transfer. It can also provide VLAN services for segmenting hospital staff, patients, and voice and surveillance infrastructure.
“Cambium Networks cnPilot enterprise Wi-Fi access points are specifically designed for high performance and ease of use,” continued Ducray. “These ac Wave 2 access points offer a variety of top-class features such as MU-MIMO, Beamforming and Bandsteering that together provide high-performance networks capable of handling thousands of concurrent connections between staff, patients and visitors.
To provide users with full visibility of their network, Cambium offers a free cloud management system, cnMaestro. This intuitive platform allows for guest login portals, voucher systems and multiple Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs) that can be rolled out on a global scale.” Using Zero-touch onboarding, access points and enterprise switches can be onboarded and preconfigured simply by using the serial number making equipment essentially plug-and-play devices.
“This is a huge benefit for rapid deployments and scenarios where one’s physical hardware is at a different location. For setting up networks at healthcare structures this is by far the most efficient way to go. Rapid deployment kits have already proven their success in connecting medical centres, municipal emergency response teams, aid agencies and outside or remote triage and testing facilities,” concluded Ducray.