Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a revolutionary tool for health care networking

Copenhagen, 15 October 97 Recently, the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology has been recognised as a pioneering high performance computing and network invention for delivering time-sensitive data, voice and video. Local area networks (LANs) as well as wide area networks (WANs) are being harmoniously integrated thanks to the ATM supported systems. Health care providers have realised themselves fairly fast that they are able to utilise this ATM tool for everything from standard office applications to remote diagnosis and distance learning. Indeed, unlike data-only technologies, ATM provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) for on-time delivery, can manage a wide range of speeds and handle a possible network growth. Enough qualities to convince the Københavns Amt, Sygehusdirektoratet (KAS) Hospital Group to standardise on ATM provided by FORE Systems, Inc.

The KAS Hospital Group is one of Denmark's leading health care institutions which explains their choice for a collaboration with FORE Systems, Inc., a chief company in high performance networking products based on ATM technology. According to Mr. Finn Thorsen, IT technical manager of KAS, FORE Systems has been selected through its partner, NetDesign A/S, because of their proven ATM experience within major Danish customers as well as their capability of measuring up to the high quality standards of customer service required by KAS. As an important additional advantage, they could ensure the production of leading-edge technologies to correspond with KAS's actual and eventual future needs.

The old Ethernet network was not able to cope any longer with the ever expanding bandwidth requirements. Switching to FORE ATM has allowed KAS to dispose of a spectacularly refined infrastructure offering the medical staff efficient control over remote diagnostic applications, along with integration of data, voice and video traffic over a single network. Software is running now between 1500 workstations at the three major hospitals at a speed of 155 Mbps. The ForeView Network Management software is operating on HP OpenView supervising as such the general Network management of the system.

According to Mr. Pascal Desaint, FORE's director of Northern Europe the marriage between the KAS hospital network and ATM promises to be a step forward in the contribution to higher quality and more cost-effective patient care. The implementation of high speed networking in the field of sophisticated medical operations is turning traditional ways of functioning upside down.

Presumably, other European hospital groups soon will follow the KAS example in the search for similar fruitful high technology collaboration contracts with HPCN-providers. More than ever, computing facilities and specialised health care are shaking hands.

You can find more technical information about the Fore ATM systems at the company's s web site.

Leslie Versweyveld