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Medical facility LANs need the right upgrades

By Donna Donnowitz
October 7, 2013

If there is any single industry that needs its technology optimized with minimal risk and chance of failure, it is the health care industry. Medical devices, computers and hardware needs to operate at 100 percent efficiency at all times to save lives and eliminate risks in care. Of course, hospitals and other facilities also want to upgrade their technology from time to time, and many are currently considering network upgrades in order to support new devices and cloud computing as a way to automate some processes and bring their infrastructure together as a more cohesive unit. However, many devices are restricted to RS232 communications, according to the EDN Network, requiring the right media converts to bring them onto the LAN.

With many centers upgrading their networks or even going wireless, older models of equipment that are still in use will need to be brought on board using RS232 to Ethernet converters. Improving networking can boost security and data privacy to meet compliance guidelines and improve operations. However, in order to optimize those gains, firms have to make the new technology play nicely with the older machines. High-quality serial to Ethernet devices will act like chaperones, enforcing the rules of the network playground.

Upgrading medical devices isn't simply a matter of swapping them out. Many centers rely on older machines because of their reliability and stability. Introducing new technology could require additional training and could introduce compatibility issues with other older models. Getting hardware to communicate across the LAN with the right converters will also help care providers keep the tools they are familiar and comfortable with, which will in turn ensure that the quality of medical care given is maintained.

Ultimately, health care organizations may have to update their devices to Ethernet-ready technology, but if the need isn't yet there, saving some costs by using converters to keep older technology in place a bit longer can remove stress and doubt from the equation and help providers optimize their workflow and the quality of care along lines they are familiar with.

The health care industry can't afford to slow down when it comes to providing high-quality care, and optimizing workflow around machines old and new will help it keep pace with the bumps, bruises and illnesses of the world a bit more easily.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial-based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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