Restoring Wireless Communication in Healthcare Applications

In healthcare applications, wireless communication plays a crucial role in collecting data from mobile devices such as patient monitoring devices and ensuring that caregivers have direct access to vital diagnostic tools, patient data bases and other services. Although a wireless communication system can easily provide mobile access to all of these important services and capabilities, wireless communication does have one troublesome weakness: routine snafus such as packet mix-ups can often cause your wireless controller to crash, taking down several wireless access points with it. A simple power reboot will usually restore troublesome wireless controllers to normal operation, but the task of locating the correct wireless controller and manually rebooting the controller can be both time consuming and confusing. Fortunately, WTI’s VMR Series Outlet Metered PDUs can provide a secure, effective means for rebooting wireless controllers such as Cisco’s 5508 in wireless healthcare applications.

WTI’s VMR Series Outlet Metered PDUs provide a perfect solution for network operation center personnel who are faced with the task of maintaining and extensive system of wireless controllers and wireless access points in healthcare applications. In addition to providing secure, manual remote reboot capabilities, the VMR can also monitor wireless controllers at user-defined IP addresses and either automatically reboot devices that fail to respond to ping commands or simply notify NOC personnel that a specific wireless controller is having problems. In order to further minimize system downtime, the VMR can also monitor other factors such as equipment rack temperatures, power supply interruptions, excessive current consumption and other factors and automatically provide instant notification via email, text message or SNMP trap when potentially troubling conditions and events are observed.

In order to ensure that critical power reboot capabilities are safely protected from unauthorized access, the VMR includes a formidable array of state-of-the-art security and authentication features. A multi-level user directory allows administrators to define passwords, command access privileges and other capabilities for each individual user. Communication with the VMR is protected from unauthorized interception by an embedded FIPS cryptographic module plus HTTPS/SSL SecureWeb. Before access is granted, the VMR can employ authentication protocols such as Kerberos, TACACS+, LDAP and RADIUS to verify the identity of each potential user.

Since most wireless healthcare applications often involve dozens of wireless controllers spread throughout a large network infrastructure, the VMR Outlet Metered PDU also includes WTI’s proprietary WMU Enterprise Management Software to simplify the task of locating and rebooting the correct wireless controller. The WMU software allows administrators to assign descriptive tags to each VMR unit and connected device, allowing support personnel to instantly locate and reboot the desired wireless controller via a single, centralized command interface. The WMU also simplifies the process of firmware updates by allowing multiple WTI units to be updated in a single operation.

When routine wireless communication events such as lost packets and other factors cause your wireless controller to crash and become unresponsive, WTI’s VMR Series Outlet Metered PDUs can provide the tools that NOC personnel need to quickly restore communication before larger problems arise. The VMR can either automatically reboot unresponsive wireless controllers, or notify support personnel to allow further investigation before a reboot is performed. The VMR Outlet Metered PDU helps to minimize downtime and ensure that critical services and capabilities are available when they are needed the most by providing a simple, effective means of restoring wireless communication in healthcare applications.

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