During his keynote remarks, Hesse shared examples of advanced wireless technologies and how they are enabling healthcare providers today to connect people, devices, and systems in new and transforming ways. He also noted future trends such as the increasing use of wireless data transactions and the growing significance of 4G technology.
"With rising healthcare costs and numerous challenges impacting every aspect of care, healthcare providers are using wireless to increase efficiency and better manage costs," said Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint Nextel. "Healthcare providers are going even further by using wireless to achieve some truly remarkable, transformative advancements in delivering faster, better patient care."
With wireless technology being an essential part of everyday life for nearly 277 million Americans, it is changing the paradigm of how healthcare is administered. Internet savvy consumers today expect immediate access to health information and care anytime, anyplace. Last year, 89 percent of wireless Internet users sought health information online*. Similarly, caregivers are using smartphones equipped with medical applications for instant, secure access to lab results, x-rays, vital signs, drug-to-drug interactions, and other vital medical records. These trends further validate the key role that wireless will play in shaping the future of healthcare by enabling innovative and cost-effective approaches in delivering quality care.
"Mobile wireless applications within healthcare are rapidly increasing and becoming a more common sight within the hospital environment opening a wealth of opportunities for workflow solutions and simply making information more accessible," explains Zachary Bujnoch, an analyst at the research firm Frost & Sullivan. "In the remote healthcare setting with the continuing decline of home telephone lines and the less than universal availability of broadband, mobile technologies are shaping up to be a cornerstone for information transmission in the future of remote medicine."
4G Technology - Game changer for healthcare
As information transactions between healthcare providers become more data-intense, like live streaming video, on-demand applications and virtual office visits: wireless networks will need a lot more bandwidth to handle these data-centric exchanges and to do it instantly. 4G technology holds the promise of taking mobile medicine to another level in healthcare.
With a recent study by ABI Research predicting 2.5 billion connected data-centric devices in use worldwide by 2014, 4G technology will make it easier for healthcare providers to expand their reach to advanced wireless devices beyond just smartphones. Imagine what these connected devices could mean for mobile health care, remote monitoring and home healthcare. For example, 4G could enable:
These are all powerful scenarios that 4G-connected devices and applications would be capable of enabling.
For a full written transcript of Dan Hesse’s keynote, visit http://www2.sprint.com/mr/spList.do.
Powered by the NOW Network, including the nation’s first lightening fast 4G network available from a national carrier, Sprint offers voice and data services for the healthcare industry; has a full data-services portfolio including business-continuity, wireless, wireline and managed services and embedded mobile computing and M2M solutions. To learn more about Sprint’s healthcare solutions click here to view the factsheet or visit www.sprint.com/healthcare.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
*according to a recent study by California HealthCare Foundation, as cited in comments by CTIA - The Wireless Association(R) in response to FCC request for "Comment Sought on Health Care Delivery Elements of the National Broadband Plan - NBP Public Notice ##17."
SPRINT HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS
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(TM), 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 4G -While 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.
To learn more visit www.sprint.com/healthcare.
Editor’s note: Nation’s first 4G wireless network available from a national carrier is racing through Atlanta today. Please visit our booth ##1413 at HIMSS to see Sprint 4G in action. Videography and still photos are encouraged.
Sukhi Sahni, 703-592-7779