Fiber-based networks and health care technology

Connectivity via a fast, reliable network is what best enables the cloud

With every passing year, remarkable technological advancements make their way into the health care market. These advancements not only intend to improve patient care, to diagnose and treat diseases but also to control the rising cost of health care.

In 2015 alone, we are looking at everything from nanobots (miniature robots complete with censors and propulsion systems that can perform tasks such as delivering chemotherapy 1,000 times more powerful than drugs, without as many side-effects) to holographic images and robotic “flight simulator” surgeries – the possibilities in this field seem endless.

These feats are just a few of the new technology innovations that are presented to the market each year, all of which present great hope not only to this generation, but future ones as well.

As hospitals, doctors’ offices, health insurance companies, and others in the health care ecosystem seek ways to efficiently deliver care for patients, many health care-related IT departments are turning to the cloud.

A recent HIMSS Analytics survey revealed that 83 percent of IT executives report using cloud services today, with SaaS (Software as a Service)-based applications being the most popular (66.9 percent). Augmentation of technological capabilities or capacity, financial metrics and time to deploy solutions are cited as the primary reasons for choosing the cloud.

Dependent on the network

Even with the industry’s high cloud adoption rate and dazzling new technologies, the underlying network is a critical component. Connectivity via a fast, secure, reliable, fiber-based network is what best enables the cloud. Fiber-based networks currently serve many major medical facilities and integrated physicians’ offices and help them to evolve to readily meet new electronic medical record requirements and adhere to strict regulations.

The network allows data to be moved securely and efficiently from one site to another, and it allows ubiquitous, easy access to patient records, diagnostic imaging and test results – all to the benefit of the patient.

With the need for detailed information storage, on top of retrieval of patient records and imaging data, increasingly large amounts of bandwidth are required to support the needs of health care organizations. With that, health care IT professionals are finding it quite challenging to meet these demands while balancing costs, meeting regulations and providing the highest level of care.

Fiber is by far the best solution to meet these challenges. Optical fiber, hundreds of times faster than DSL, cable or wireless systems, offers a platform of incredible speed and virtually unlimited bandwidth capable of carrying vast amounts of data. Optical fibers are low-cost and play an integral role in the rapid growth of the health care industry by ensuring faster, more reliable and secure connectivity.

From the latest in radiology to robotics, today’s health care advancements are leveraging fiber to support critical imagery transmission and telemedicine (the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients via telecommunications technology). The savviest health care IT professionals are relying on fiber’s dependable connectivity to reduce costs, improve care, and future-proof their operations.

Maura Mahoney is senior director of marketing & product development for FirstLight Fiber, which has offices in Nashua, Albany, N.Y., and Williston, Vt.

Categories: Health