HIMSS: Sprint highlights range of technologies, partnerships

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Sprint showcased a variety of technologies including 4G/WiMax applications, as well as partnerships in the converged networks, home healthcare, telemedicine, and business continuity and disaster recovery markets during the recent HIMSS10 trade show in Atlanta earlier this month.

Hospitals are upgrading their emergency communications networks to carry voice and images across buildings or campuses, said Tim Donahue, vice president of industry solutions at Sprint. The Sprint Custom Network Solution’s partnership with GE Healthcare will enable facilities to transition quickly “at the least cost, but best features,” Donahue said.

Sprint also showcased its Emergency Response Team, which can provision and make available cell phones, two-way radio systems and push-to-talk devices. “We use Nextel’s trunked radio system network to harness push-to-talk for critical communication,” including one-to-many and conference capabilities, he said. Prioritization ensures important calls get through. The company can also deploy truck-back satellite-based cell networks, Donahue said.

Medical images are predicted to be the largest files sent over networks within the next few years, and Sprint’s 4G WiMax network will have the spectrum to enable these images to travel five to 10 times faster than 3G, according to the company. Because 4G is standards based, some security is built in, said Donahue.

Also, 4G-enabled smart devices and applications will allow healthcare systems to manage patient care remotely, via in-home or home-area networks. Earlier this week, Sprint announced the world’s first 3G/4G Android handset, the HTC EVO 4G, will be available this summer from Sprint.

At HIMSS, Sprint conducted live demonstrations of teleconferencing capabilities using equipment from Creative Labs. The company showed a smartphone-based app from mVisum that streams live or near-live vital signs to physicians, and a location-based application from CellTrak that can remotely automate scheduling, work validation and other tasks for mobile healthcare workers.