March 01, 2010

Healthcare Today


Telemedicine - If doctors use wireless applications to remotely monitor patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, the annual savings could amount to approximately $21 billion due to a reduction in hospitalization and nursing home costs. Sprint partners with American TeleCare, Inc. to deliver a reliable wireless connectivity solution. American TeleCare uses a video-enabled solution to monitor, observe and intervene with the patient, preventing hospitalization. Powered by Sprint 3G Mobile Broadband, these solutions combine video conferencing, patient interface and connectivity to biometric devices.


“Fundamental to delivering the right remote care is a reliable, uniform, and predictable communication network like Sprint’s,” said Lawrence Diamond, vice president of business development at American TeleCare. “Sprint’s commitment to the health care sector is unparalleled in the telecommunication industry. They have a true understanding of their customers’ needs and work with their partners to solve their challenges.”


Another example of remote monitoring is the use of the Sprint network with the Alzheimer’s Association Comfort Zone, powered by Omnilink. A web-based application, Comfort Zone, is the first comprehensive location management system designed specifically to give people with Alzheimer’s more independence and provides their caregivers options for some peace of mind.


“Alzheimer’s poses immediate safety concerns for people living with the disease and enormous challenges and stress for their caregivers,” says Steve Hudson, vice-president, strategy and development for Omnilink. “Comfort Zone is a secure, password-protected application that allows families to determine location and receive alerts all while the person with Alzheimer’s retains the emotional security of familiar routines and surroundings.”


Home Healthcare - Studies show that patients recover more quickly in their own environment; as a result nurses that care for at-home patients end up spending a lot of time on the road. Sprint, in partnership with several application partners such as CellTrak, the leading homecare and hospice solution partner offers point of care solutions that allow better management of time and travel and help simplify the business by reducing unnecessary paperwork, automating care plan workflows, providing mobile access to patient data and streamlining billing and reimbursements.

With a Sprint smart phone and the CellTrak solutions, caregivers can send immediate updates and status alerts back to their main offices, as well as access locations and routes while in the field. 


Sprint also partners with Intel to provide the Intel Health Guide. This solution using Sprint 4G, enables patients to engage in video calls to consult with their clinicians and view multimedia educational content about their condition, empowering them to more proactively manage their health.


In-building solutions - In collaboration with GE Healthcare, Sprint continues to deploy Custom Network Solutions that are transforming hospitals across the country into a fully-converged infrastructure. For example, at Methodist Healthcare in San Antonio, Tex., this solution enables clinicians to extend the reach of patient care beyond the hospital walls and provides visitors the ability to use personal wireless devices and access the internet throughout the hospital.


“Our decision to collaborate with Sprint and GE Healthcare underscores our commitment to leveraging advanced wireless applications and technologies to help meet the needs of our tech-savvy physicians and staff, while managing our growing wireless capabilities as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said Eddie Cuellar, CIO of Methodist Healthcare.


Future of Healthcare


Sprint 4GWhile 3G today has enabled numerous cutting-edge services and devices that improve the delivery of healthcare, Sprint 4G will be the defining technology to offer endless possibilities for the future. For example, devices and applications connected with Sprint 4G could enable virtual collaboration between colleagues across states, broadcast live surgery through a wireless video transmission in real-time, and quickly download large radiology images on a mobile device to speed-up diagnoses and treatment. Unlike previous network generations, 4G is built entirely for data. 4G provides not only multi-megabyte per second download speeds, but also, because of its economic efficiency, it will offer more gigabytes of use per month at the same price as today’s 3G plans.


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