Aruba Networks announces health care mobility initiatives

New Orleans 26 February 2007Aruba Networks has launched several initiatives, partnerships and new capabilities of the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture designed to enable the secure implementation of multiple health care applications on a single wireless network. By doing so, Aruba enables health care IT to create secure, multi-service mobility networks designed to reduce costs and complexity while satisfying federal regulations such as the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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In conjunction with application providers such as Welch Allyn, IntelliDOT and AeroScout, the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture now enables health care IT professionals to support the following key services and features via their mobile networks:

  • Patient Monitoring - Aruba Networks and Welch Allyn have entered into partnership to mobilize critical patient telemetry applications such as heart monitoring.
  • Patient Safety and Work flow Management - Aruba Networks and IntelliDOT have joined forces to enable the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture to provide the infrastructure for IntelliDOT's CAREt System, a comprehensive bedside system that employs the CAREt mobile handheld device at the point of care to eliminate medication errors.
  • Location-based Services - Aruba Networks and AeroScout, an expert in real-time location services, have announced interoperability of the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture and AeroScout's active RFID products to provide location and status of high-end, mobile health care equipment in hospital settings.
  • Voice Management and Control - With the newly announced ArubaOS 3.1, Aruba's application-aware Mobile Edge Architecture has expanded scalability and performance compared to prior versions and provides detailed monitoring and management for Voice over Wi-Fi (VoFi) services throughout health care settings.
  • Secure Mobility - Aruba's role-based access, multiple captive portals and Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) technology enable health care IT to provide mobile access to applications and services while assuring they comply with federal policies and protect sensitive patient data.

"Health care settings provide unique challenges for IT in terms of mobility, security, voice and more", stated Peter Mongroo, global health care marketing for Aruba. "Too often, this has resulted in health care organisations building separate networks to support each of these functions. The Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture was designed to securely converge all of these services on to a single mobility network, thus easing the cost and complexity for health care IT."

Through a joint technology and marketing partnership, Aruba Networks will enable the Welch Allyn FlexNet patient monitoring system to seamlessly and securely operate on the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture. FlexNet links multiple devices such as ambulatory wireless monitors and hardwired and wireless bedside monitors to Acuity Central Monitoring Stations. It is designed to support comprehensive patient monitoring networks while providing noise tolerance and communications integrity, and can coexist with the hospital network or be installed as a separate network. The companies have closely collaborated to ensure that Aruba's mobility platforms provide the reliability and quality of service necessary in conjunction with the Welch Allyn solution to support critical patient telemetry applications such as heart monitoring.

Aruba has signed an agreement with IntelliDOT Corporation, a provider of patient safety and work flow management solutions for health care, to integrate its mobility infrastructure with IntelliDOT's CAREt System, a comprehensive bedside system that employs mobile handheld appliances at the point of care to eliminate medication errors. IntelliDOT's CAREt System is a nurse-centred work flow manager connecting caregivers with the information systems they need at the point of care. Designed to complement the way nurses work, the handheld CAREt System is user-friendly, and provides nurses with a single, mobile instrument for medication safety and documentation at the bedside. Through their combined efforts, the two companies provide an integrated mobile application that enhances patient safety at the bedside as part of centrally managed infrastructure able to support wireless applications within the acute care setting.

In order to provide better location- and status-tracking for high-end medical devices, Aruba provides interoperability with products from real-time location services leader, AeroScout. Specifically, Aruba infrastructure now recognizes and communicates with AeroScout's Wi-Fi-based Active RFID tags, and can accurately transmit the location of these tags to AeroScout enterprise software. With Aruba and AeroScout, an organisation can securely run existing mobile applications and add location-based applications on the same wireless network.

Aruba's new Voice Services Module (VSM) adds many new capabilities to Aruba's existing feature-rich VoFi solution. Many of these voice control and management features are enabled by Aruba's application-aware architecture. New functions in the VSM include dynamic WMM queue management and customization, phone number awareness for network monitoring, display of SIP call detail records, automatic QoS monitoring with dynamic display of call quality using R-values, computation of end-to-end network delay to aid in voice troubleshooting, WMM queue content enforcement, and automatic tracking of SIP authentication to ease interoperability and increase security in voice networks. All of these features also enhance deployments of leading VoIP systems and handsets from Aruba's VoFi partners such as Avaya, SpectraLink and Vocera.

The Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture enables HIPAA-secure WLAN mobility for clinical data and voice applications within the hospital setting. Aruba's centrally managed mobility system combines multiple security mechanisms, including integrated WIPS and role-based access control, with Quality of Service capabilities designed to reliably deliver mobile health care applications in wireless environments. In addition, recently added security features enable health care organisations to leverage the security infrastructure they have in place to support their mobility network.

For example, Aruba has added syslog processing capability to its mobility controllers to allow organisations to easily integrate a broader range of "best-of-breed" appliances that often already exist in today's health care networks. With the new syslog processor, Aruba mobility controllers can receive syslog messages, a commonly supported standard format, from third-party devices such as security appliances and take specified actions, such as quarantining or completely blocking clients that violate IT policies or exhibit unexpected behaviour.

In addition, Aruba has standardized and simplified log messages for use with other vendors' network security management platforms. Aruba and ArcSight, a security and network management provider, have developed an Aruba SmartAgent for ArcSight's event management platform. The Aruba SmartAgent enables the ArcSight platform to correlate security event messages generated by Aruba equipment with messages from other security devices in the network, enabling health care organisations to respond to the right security issues at the right time.

Aruba also allows health care organisations to use their mobility network to offer Internet access to patients and visitors. Aruba's enhanced GuestConnect capabilities allow a hospital admissions clerk to quickly and securely provision guest access accounts, automatically generate a guest username/password and print a guest access ticket to a local printer using customized graphics and acceptable use-policy text. Network administrators are also given more control over the expiration time of guest accounts to ensure that they are in line with established security policies.

Aruba Networks provides an enterprise mobility solution that enables secure access to data, voice and video applications across wireless and wireline enterprise networks. The Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture allows end-users to roam to different locations within an enterprise campus or office building, as well as to remote locations such as branch and home offices, while maintaining secure and consistent access to all of their network resources. Using the Aruba Mobile Edge Architecture, IT departments can manage user-based network access and enforce application delivery policies from a single integrated point of control in a consistent manner.

Aruba's user-centric enterprise mobility solution integrates the ArubaOS operating system, optional value-added software modules, a centralized mobility management system, high-performance programmable mobility controllers, and wired and wireless access points. Based in Sunnyvale, California, Aruba has operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and employs staff around the world. More company news is available in the VMW April 2004 article Baycrest Centre switches to Aruba Wireless Networks for secure support of mobile voice and data applications.


Leslie Versweyveld

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