Draeger Medical uses Packeteer to converge patient monitoring and administrative networks

Cupertino 05 December 2005Draeger Medical, a joint venture of Draegerwerk and Siemens, is using Packeteer PacketShaper systems to converge wired and wireless patient monitoring and hospital clinical and administrative networks under its Infinity OneNet Architecture. Headquartered in Lübeck, Germany, with United States headquarters in Telford, Pennsylvania, Draeger Medical employs some 6000 people worldwide with United States-based R&D and production facilities in Telford, Pennsylvania, and Danvers, Massachusetts.

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Infinity OneNet is a breakthrough architecture that creates a single, seamless wired-wireless LAN/WAN infrastructure, allowing hospitals to add a wireless patient monitoring system to an existing network. Infinity OneNet reduces costs by simplifying network administration and fully leverages and protects a hospital's current network investment. The solution conforms to industry standards, including IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, 802.11b wireless LANs and 802.11Q virtual LANs, allowing it to be implemented in most environments. The quality of service (QoS) needed to support patient monitoring is provided by a strategic solution between Draeger Medical and Packeteer.

"We are very excited to present this breakthrough solution that combines Draeger Medical's core competency in medical devices and Packeteer's proven strength in ensuring quality of service", stated Marcus Aben, president and CEO of Draeger Medical Systems Inc., the Patient Monitoring and IT business unit in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. "Working together, we successfully implemented Infinity OneNet at the University Hospital of Heidelberg. This seamless wired and wireless network is the first large-scale implementation of critical medical device data on a hospital's network infrastructure."

The Infinity OneNet solution was implemented at the University Hospital of Heidelberg in its new, state-of-the-art 280-bed medical centre. To minimize operational expenditures, the hospital wanted a single, seamless wired-wireless LAN environment for both patient monitoring and the hospital's clinical and administrative applications. The only vendor able to satisfy this requirement while providing the life-critical integrity of over 250 Wi-Fi-based patient monitoring systems was Draeger Medical based on its use of the PacketShaper application traffic management system.

Traditionally, patient monitoring required its own separate, dedicated network in order to guarantee privacy and performance. While wireless LANs based on IEEE 802.11a/b/g standards provide sufficient bandwidth, they cannot guarantee quality of service. With implementations of the emerging 802.11e standard for wireless QoS over a year away, Draeger Medical turned to Packeteer for the PacketShaper appliance to provide application QoS.

University Hospital of Heidelberg established two distinct classes of traffic:

  1. real-time "life-critical" patient monitoring data, and
  2. other hospital traffic, including clinical hospital applications, using notebooks, tablet PCs and PDAs for doctors and nurses, as well as non-critical - background - hospital applications, including Internet access for patients and their guests.

The PacketShaper system employs virtual LANs to prioritize and rate-control bandwidth for the patient monitoring traffic. According to Dr. Bjorn Bergh, the hospital's director of IT, "Now we have visibility into the performance of all those applications and see how they impact each other, so we can align our business needs with our network resources."

The Infinity OneNet architecture serves as the foundation for Draeger Medical's CareAreas Solutions, offering integrated systems and services for comprehensive patient care. The solution includes wired MultiView WorkStations and wireless Infinity Delta patient monitors. In addition, doctors and nurses have near real-time access to vital patient information, medical records and other clinical applications anywhere in the hospital via laptops, PCs and PDAs connected to the hospital network.

Draeger Medical AG & Co. KG is a manufacturer of medical equipment, the largest division of Draegerwerk AG - history dates back to 1889 - and a 65:35 joint venture company between Draegerwerk AG and Siemens AG. The company offers products, services and integrated CareArea Solutions throughout the patient care process - Emergency Care, Peri-operative Care, Critical Care, Perinatal Care and Home Care. With United States headquarters in Telford, Pennsylvania and world headquarters in Lübeck, Germany, Draeger Medical employs nearly 6000 people worldwide.

Packeteer Inc. is a global market expert in WAN Optimization and Application Traffic Management for wide area networks. Deployed at more than 7000 companies in 50 countries, Packeteer solutions empower IT organisations with patented network visibility, control, and acceleration capabilities delivered through a family of intelligent, scalable appliances.


Leslie Versweyveld

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