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How tech takes away pain in hospital admin

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Epson recently presented at the Healthcare Innovation Summit where delegates discussed the value of technology in improving healthcare. HUGH DAVIES, Business Development Manager at Epson South Africa, highlighted various tools which can support healthcare professionals.

A hospital or clinic is as much a business environment as any other type of company, with a team of administrators providing invaluable support to the professionals at the coalface of delivering the best possible healthcare.

There are numerous print, projection, scanning and disc-producing solutions that help health professionals achieve greater efficiencies in their tasks, whether it’s labeling medication clearly in a dispensary, quickly writing X-ray images to a cost-efficient CD rather than making patients wait for films to develop, or using interactive projectors to enhance the efficacy of skills development and training.

When it comes to providing support for the administration teams, technology is available to help them boost efficiency, save time, increase their effectiveness, and comply with legislative requirements around patient confidentiality and the secure storage of data.

Hugh Davies, business development manager at Epson South Africa understands the challenges facing the support teams in clinical environments, including IT and technical issues, finance processes and controls, and providing administration support to doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals. “Administrative staff are tasked with activities as diverse as stock control, tracking patient data and keeping it secure, and invoicing and income collection, while finance teams need quick and effective reporting mechanisms to ensure the long-term sustainability of the healthcare facility.

“Choosing the right technology to support administration processes provides clarity on costs, allows for better accuracy and helps administrators comply with the complex legislative requirements around protecting patient data, such as the Protection of Private Information Act,” Davies continues.

Protect personal data

Medical environments need to choose printing and scanning equipment that keeps confidential data protected and away from unauthorised eyes, with on-demand identification and privacy controls giving auditable access to patient data.

Keep costs under control

In a clinical environment, keeping costs under control allows for the focus to be kept on providing the best possible healthcare. Every cent counts, and procurement and finance teams need to seek out the printing solutions that offer the lowest total cost of ownership, and that can be trusted to incur predictable (rather than unexpected) costs in the future. Choosing printers that produce high-legibility, clearly colour-coded labels means that reprints are a thing of the past, while choosing devices that integrate easily with legacy systems without leading to unexpected hardware costs makes good business sense. Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) printers, for example, can print up to 75,000 pages without an ink refill – and the device gives you fair warning when it’s time to order new ink.

Make electronic records easy

While it seems there will always be a place for paperwork in the daily running of a ward and of a hospital, when the patient is discharged it makes good sense to digitise their data and store it safely. Password protected scanners and Discproducers allow administrators to scan documents and write data to discs, which can be safely stored for up to 50 years making it ideal for long term archiving.

Rural is no longer remote

Remote healthcare facilities often don’t have access to specialist insights, and time is of the essence in seeking an expert opinion to ensure the most appropriate treatment in an emergency or unusual case. However, a combination of interactive short-throw projectors and a WiFi connection in the remote location and in the specialist’s office allows voice and visual collaboration in real time, with the potential to capture notes made during the discussion and send them digitally during or immediately after the consultation for reference during treatment.

“Administrative staff seldom get the recognition for the role they play in supporting sick and unwell – but having the right equipment to play their vital role certainly makes it easier to keep their healthcare facility running efficiently, cost-effectively, and in line with all legislative requirements,” says Davies. “Installing the right equipment to do the job makes good sense, whether you’re a stock controller, a book-keeper, a radiology secretary, or the head of the hospital’s information technology team – all the people that make it possible for the medical professionals to fulfil their duties effectively.”

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Bring your network with you

At last week’s Critical Communications World, Motorola unveiled the LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. It allows rescue personal to set up dedicated LTE networks for communication in an emergency, writes SEAN BACHER.

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In the event of an emergency, communications are absolutely critical, but the availability of public phone networks are limited due to weather conditions or congestion.

Motorola realised that this caused a problem when trying to get rescue personnel to those in need and so developed its LXN 500 LTE Ultra Portable Network Infrastructure. The product is the smallest and lightest full powered broadband network to date and allows the first person on the scene to set up an LTE network in a matter of minutes, allowing other rescue team members to communicate with each other.

“The LXN 500 weighs six kilograms and comes in a backpack with two batteries. It offers a range of 1km and allows up to 100 connections at the same time. However, in many situations the disaster area may span more than 1km which is why they can be connected to each other in a mesh formation,” says Tunde Williams, Head of Field and Solutions Marketing EMEA, Motorola Solutions.

The LXN 500 solution offers communication through two-way radios, and includes mapping, messaging, push-to-talk, video and imaging features onboard, thus eliminating the need for any additional hardware.

Data collected on the device can then be sent through to a central control room where an operator can deploy additional rescue personnel where needed. Once video is streamed into the control room, realtime analytics and augmented reality can be applied to it to help predict where future problem points may arise. Video images and other multimedia can also be made available for rescuers on the ground.

“Although the LXN 500 was designed for the seamless communications between on ground rescue teams and their respective control rooms, it has made its way into the police force and in places where there is little or no cellular signal such as oil rigs,” says Williams.

He gave a hostage scenario: “In the event of a hostage situation, it is important for the police to relay information in realtime to ensure no one is hurt. However the perpetrators often use their mobile phones to try and foil any rescue attempts. Should the police have the correct partnerships in place they are able to disable cellular towers in the vicinity, preventing any in or outgoing calls on a public network and allowing the police get their job done quickly and more effectively.”

By disabling any public networks in the area, police are also able to eliminate any cellular detonated bombs from going off but still stay in touch with each other he says.

The LXN 500 offers a wide range of mission critical cases and is sure to transform communications and improve safety for first responders and the people they are trying to protect.

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Kaspersky moves to Switzerland

As part of its Global Transparency Initiative, Kaspersky Lab is adapting its infrastructure to move a number of core processes from Russia to Switzerland.

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This includes customer data storage and processing for most regions, as well as software assembly, including threat detection updates. To ensure full transparency and integrity, Kaspersky Lab is arranging for this activity to be supervised by an independent third party, also based in Switzerland.

Global transparency and collaboration for an ultra-connected world

The Global Transparency Initiative, announced in October 2017, reflects Kaspersky Lab’s ongoing commitment to assuring the integrity and trustworthiness of its products. The new measures are the next steps in the development of the initiative, but they also reflect the company’s commitment to working with others to address the growing challenges of industry fragmentation and a breakdown of trust. Trust is essential in cybersecurity, and Kaspersky Lab understands that trust is not a given; it must be repeatedly earned through transparency and accountability.

The new measures comprise the move of data storage and processing for a number of regions, the relocation of software assembly and the opening of the first Transparency Center.

Relocation of customer data storage and processing

By the end of 2019, Kaspersky Lab will have established a data center in Zurich and in this facility, will store and process all information for users in Europe, North America, Singapore, Australia, Japan and South Korea, with more countries to follow. This information is shared voluntarily by users with the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) an advanced, cloud-based system that automatically processes cyberthreat-related data.

Relocation of software assembly

Kaspersky Lab will relocate to Zurich its ‘software build conveyer’ — a set of programming tools used to assemble ready to use software out of source code. Before the end of 2018, Kaspersky Lab products and threat detection rule databases (AV databases) will start to be assembled and signed with a digital signature in Switzerland, before being distributed to the endpoints of customers worldwide. The relocation will ensure that all newly assembled software can be verified by an independent organisation and show that software builds and updates received by customers match the source code provided for audit.

Establishment of the first Transparency Center

The source code of Kaspersky Lab products and software updates will be available for review by responsible stakeholders in a dedicated Transparency Center that will also be hosted in Switzerland and is expected to open this year. This approach will further show that generation after generation of Kaspersky Lab products were built and used for one purpose only: protecting the company’s customers from cyberthreats.

Independent supervision and review

Kaspersky Lab is arranging for the data storage and processing, software assembly, and source code to be independently supervised by a third party qualified to conduct technical software reviews. Since transparency and trust are becoming universal requirements across the cybersecurity industry, Kaspersky Lab supports the creation of a new, non-profit organisation to take on this responsibility, not just for the company, but for other partners and members who wish to join.

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