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April 26

DAS Dream Builds: Seattle Grace

Today’s blog post is the second edition of our DAS Dream Builds series. To explore the multiple ways a DAS can be applied to enhance indoor cellular connectivity, we’re taking a look at Seattle Grace Hospital. You may recognize this fictional, world-renowned hospital from Grey’s Anatomy. 

If you aren’t familiar with the series, Seattle Grace is a large, seven story hospital, housing a pediatrics, trauma, surgical and medical intensive care unit. It’s a scene quite similar to what we see when we go to a real hospital – patients are dressed in wearable devices like blood sugar monitors and EKGs, doctors are running from bed to bed with their iPads in hand, charting patient’s vitals – all of which critically depend on connectivity.

Just as in other hospitals, Seattle Grace suffers from a challenging wireless environment. For instance, wireless signals sourced from life-saving medical systems housed within cause great interference. Additionally, hospitals tend to have thicker walls than other buildings, making it difficult for cellular signals to penetrate the walls. Seattle Grace is no exception.

When you think of a hospital from the perspective of a patient, you may not consider just how connected everything is. But for doctors, nurses, and EMS, wireless connectivity is a vital component of their day-to-day responsibilities. At Seattle Grace, doctors frequently use wireless medical devices to track a patient’s heart rate, for example. Ideally, patients are able to leave the facility with these devices and reenter the hospital’s premises with a seamless data transfer. Further, EMTs depend on wireless connectivity for similar reasons. When delivering a patient in critical condition, it is necessary to have an uninterrupted transition from outdoor to indoor; once the patient enters the hospital, nurses should immediately be able to check all vital signs. This situation illustrates the benefits of IoT for healthcare applications, which would be null without reliable connectivity.

So, what can a hospital like Seattle Grace do to ensure it’s constantly connected? Simple: Install a distributed antenna system (DAS). A DAS consists of a central hub, connected to a network of strategically placed remote units to distribute a wireless signal throughout the building. For instance, remote units could be placed in the ceilings so visitors in waiting rooms can keep in touch with family and friends, while equipment in surgical rooms and patient beds never experience a lapse in communicating patient data.

Additionally, the hub connects to an RF source outside and brings that cellular signal into the building. Thus, a DAS brings cellular signals from outside and distributes them throughout the interior of the structure, providing seamless connectivity.

Once deployed, a DAS like Zinwave’s would provide reliable in-building wireless connectivity throughout Seattle Grace Hospital. In doing so, physicians would have the ability to check vitals on their iPads or monitor EKGs, and successfully share that information in real-time, without encountering an unreliable or subpar data transfer.

Finally, Zinwave’s DAS solution is future ready. As technology evolves, Seattle Grace will be able to evolve with it. Unlike competing hospitals, Seattle Grace will be able to support additional carriers and frequencies as the wireless landscape changes, and embrace emerging technologies like CBRS.

All hospitals need robust wireless connectivity to facilitate the healthcare technology of today and the future. A hospital powered by a Zinwave DAS has just that: a reliable in-building network that allows medical professionals to save lives, without having to worry about the connectivity of their devices and the transfer of vital information.

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