IBM beams up communicators

Canadian healthcare professionals are now able to keep in touch using wireless communicators worn as lightweight badges, reminiscent of ones used by the Star Trek crew. The devices also can relay text messages and alerts.

IBM, who supply the wireless network, claim the communicators, developed by Vocera Communications, can increase staff productivity, save time and improve patient care response times. Medics can quickly and easily connect, without stopping what they are doing to look for colleagues or place a phone call or page, especially important in an emergency.

Ontario-based Kingston General Hospital and St Thomas Elgin General Hospital have joined Interior Health in British Columbia and others in adopting the system.

IBM builds and maintains the wireless network to support the system, which must be secure, reliable, accessible throughout the healthcare campus and compatible and non-intrusive with other hospital wireless devices and technologies. Vocera Communications makes the communication badges and software.