Healthcare Industry Sees Major Shift to Smarter Wi-Fi Technology as the Industry Looks to Go Paperless

Shift to Electronic Medical Records, New IP-Based Video Applications and Need for Better Patient Care Drive Need for More Reliable and Higher Speed Wi-Fi Infrastructure

Aug 09, 2010, 08:00 ET from Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruckus Wireless™, the smart mobile networking company, today announced that it has been selected by 15 new healthcare facilities, hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and abroad, signaling a major transition by the industry to adopt higher speed, advanced wireless technology that automatically adapts to radio frequency problems in real time.

The Company said it is seeing acceleration and widespread adoption of its "Smart Wi-Fi" systems and technology by medical centers around the world that are looking for a more reliable wireless infrastructure that is easier to deploy, provision and manage.  Ultra-reliable, ubiquitous Wi-Fi is a critical requirement for optimizing adoption of and ROI for electronic medical records (EMR's), IP-based video applications for patient education and telemedicine and voice communications – all for higher quality, safer and efficient care delivery.

The Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wireless LAN (WLAN) system overcomes the limitations and complexities of conventional Wi-Fi systems and technology incapable of automatically adapting Wi-Fi transmissions in dynamic, noisy and highly mobile environments such as hospitals. The ZoneFlex system has now been selected by a number of healthcare organization including: Eastern Long Island Hospital (NY), Martin Memorial Health Systems (FL), Grove Hill Medical (CT), East Orange General Hospital (NJ), Gaston County Medical Center (NC), South Florida Multi-Specialty (FL), Pawnee County Memorial (NE), Satilla Regional Medical Center (GA), Centre Hospitalier de Meaux (France), Chadron Community Hospital & Health , CEI Community Mental Health, Seven Hills Hospital (India), Surgery Center of Decatur (SD), Premier Medical Corporation and Hospedia (UK).

The broad implementation of Ruckus ZoneFlex systems in healthcare enterprises demonstrates increasing demand for more reliable wireless networks that provide solid, wide-area coverage to support a range of devices, services and applications that are key to higher quality patient care delivery and increased patient and staff satisfaction.

The combination of 802.11n Wi-Fi with Ruckus' patented dynamic beamforming technology, found in Ruckus ZoneFlex systems, provides a more stable wireless infrastructure able to support hospitals' increasing use of electronic medical records, while also enabling enhanced individualized communications with patients, and faster communication and sharing of patient data among hospital staff.

"Hospitals and medical clinics are highly dynamic and interference-prone environments with many moving parts, sophisticated equipment and other devices that emit electromagnetic interference, along with staff and patients that are highly mobile," said Rick Gentry, director of healthcare solutions at Ruckus Wireless. "The advances we've made in the area of Wi-Fi reliability through the innovation of patented smart antennas have changed the game when it comes to wireless in healthcare."

With a robust, Ruckus-powered wireless networking infrastructure, hospital staff can provide patients with a much more efficient, satisfying experience. At the same time, medical staff – doctors, nurses and administrative employees – can leverage the Wi-Fi network to share the most up-to-date information in real time, including prescriptions, lab tests and results, x-rays and other types of radiology images, and other patient information.

Smart Wi-Fi Breathes New Life into Hospitals' Wireless Networks

With its unique ability to constantly monitor the air and steer Wi-Fi signals around interference in real time, the Ruckus ZoneFlex WLAN system delivers unmatched performance, scalability and reliability at a fraction of the cost of competing systems, and is suitable for hospitals' use of wireless-enabled voice handsets, video and radiology images, advanced billing systems and video-surveillance, among other applications. The performance and cost benefits of the Ruckus solution make it ideal for healthcare facilities focused on reducing costs, improving efficiencies and delivering the best patient experience.

Grove Hill Medical Moves to 802.11n

For example, Grove Hill Medical Center, located in central Connecticut, recently replaced a problematic 3Com wireless network with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi. The outpatient center, comprising multiple specialty clinics in nine buildings, is now delivering flawless wireless broadband access, enabling doctors to transmit patient diagnoses, lab test orders and prescriptions, and allowing nurses to upload patients' vital information and other status updates – all over handheld devices or tablet PCs. The medical center also transmits a high volume of radiology diagnostic imaging over the wireless network.

"We have numerous magnetic devices in our various clinics that posed tremendous problems for our previous 3Com network," said Carl Labbadia, IT director at Grove Hill. "Our doctors constantly complained about dropped connections, and no matter how many APs we threw at the problem, it didn't get better. With our new Wi-Fi system that is able to continually focus and steer signals in the optimal directions, complaints have effectively dropped to zero – allowing our IT staff to be more creative in exploring cutting applications that we are now confident to  take wireless."

Grove Hill is the largest privately-held medical center in New England. Started in 1947, the multi-specialty clinic has 500 employees, including 70 physicians. To blanket its nine separate locations with Wi-Fi, including the main building – a 100,000-square-foot two-story building – Grove Hill purchased 50 dual-band indoor 802.11n ZoneFlex 7962 access points (APs) and one ZoneDirector 3000 for centralized management.

East Orange Gets Better with Dynamic Beamforming

Another hospital that recently made the switch to smarter Wi-Fi is East Orange General Hospital in New Jersey. According to Jean Zahore, IT director, the need for better Wi-Fi stemmed from the hospital's plan to cover its four separate buildings with reliable Wi-Fi connectivity, to support doctors and nurses as well as provide broadband access to patients and guests.

East Orange is a 211-bed facility with close to 1,100 employees. The hospital previously had a limited Wi-Fi network made up of Cisco APs. "The previous network was used solely to provide wireless access to the nursing stations," Zahore said. "Now that we're implementing electronic health records, and because we want our patients to be able to use the network for personal use, we wanted to cover the entire center with reliable Wi-Fi – but at a cost that wouldn't break our budget." Zahore said that he evaluated systems from Cisco, Aruba, Trapeze and Ruckus, and ultimately chose Ruckus because of the tremendous cost/performance advantages it offers.

"We chose Ruckus for several reasons, but the main factor in our decision was the fact that we could use far fewer APs, at a much lower cost, and still get better coverage of the whole facility," he said. Zahore also noted that the Ruckus ZoneDirector controller for centralized network management was more advanced yet easier to use than those from other vendors.

East Orange has deployed 115 802.11n ZoneFlex 7962 APs and 2 ZoneDirector 3000s. They are also taking advantage of Ruckus' Smart Mesh technology to provide Wi-Fi coverage in the elevators, where fiber is unavailable.

"A reliable wireless network is a huge advantage to us in delivering better, faster more cost-effective healthcare services," said Zahore.  It not only helps our medical staff operate more efficiently, but it's also an appealing feature for patients, who can access the Internet and email when they're here."

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ruckus Wireless is supplier of advanced wireless systems for the mobile Internetworking market. The company markets and manufactures a wide range of indoor and outdoor "Smart Wi-Fi" products for mobile operators, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises around the world. Ranked as the top telecom company in the 2009 Inc. Magazine 500 list and named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Ruckus Wireless has realized dramatic growth. Since 2006, revenue and shipments have grown by over 1000 percent. Ruckus invented, and has patented, innovative state-of-the-art wireless technology that steers signals around obstacles and interference. This unique capability extends signal range and ensures consistent reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. The company has shipped over 2 million Smart Wi-Fi systems around the world and has raised $51 million in funding from premier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Focus Ventures, Sutter Hill, Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus Ventures and Firelake Capital. The company is led by Ms. Selina Lo, president and chief executive officer. For more information, visit Ruckus Wireless at

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SOURCE Ruckus Wireless, Inc.