Clinical Grade BYOD for Healthcare

Healthcare providers are under pressure to reduce the cost of care delivery, efficiently manage resources and improve patient care and safety. Extraordinary measures are being made in healthcare IT to provide timely and accurate information to caregivers and patients at the point-of-care through the adoption of technology.

Every hospital today is moving towards new electronic medical records systems and with that many are adopting Unified Communications (UC) solutions such as Microsoft Lync, next generation paging apps, and smartphones. Yet the approaches and tools used by IT need to evolve to support these new platforms.

A recent study from Spok entitled, BYOD Trends in Healthcare: An Industry Snapshot, highlights the top three challenges with BYOD deployments in clinical care.

The Extreme Networks BYOD solution provides hospitals with resilient Wi-Fi infrastructure, the efficient means to on-board and manage smartphone devices used by clinicians and the necessary security capabilities for patient data compliance. From a single window, IT can set policy for which applications each device can access, both within the hospital and across the Internet. The policy is capable of setting a range of parameters that determine device access rights, including user, device type, location, and time of day.

Critical Technology Issues for Hospital BYOD


All BYOD programs require complete Wi-Fi coverage across the campus both indoors and in outside areas used by clinicians. Understanding coverage and connectivity requirements is the first step of any clinical grade BYOD solution. The network must be capable of connecting to all Wi-Fi devices that clinicians and staff are likely to bring into the facility and prioritize traffic according to its importance. The digital content to and from the BYOD devices will vary from text alarms to high definition video, and the network bandwidth will need to fully accommodate that range. To operate smoothly, there can be no bottlenecks from the Wi-Fi access points, back through the wired switches, and all the way to the broadband Internet connection and the data center. These connections must be highly available and fault tolerant to ensure uninterrupted service. Prior to installation, it is important to survey and assess the RF characteristics of the facility to determine optimal placement of access points and switches and design the network with clinical application requirements in mind.


Adding to the challenges of wireless deployments are the end user requirements for IT service and support. When staff want to bring their own devices onto the network IT has to consider the challenging balance of streamlining access while meeting compliance requirements. Employees expect the same level of access regardless of their device or network it leverages. Our open, standards-based, and comprehensive Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enables simple integration with industry leading Mobile Device Management (MDM) partners such as AirWatch and MobileIron to simplify access and management.


While the network must be capable of connecting all devices, it must also be very selective in doing so. Authorized devices should be expeditiously on boarded, while unauthorized devices must be prevented from gaining access to the network or moved to a guest access network. The best way to implement this is with a defined policy as to which devices, users, and apps can access the network resources from defined locations at specified times of day. This policy needs to be implemented consistently across the wired and wireless network with policy integration from firewalls to prevent access from outside sources that can damage the network. Network integration with firewalls means that policy can be smoothly implemented across all resources. The network must be capable of both controlling and monitoring all devices and network activity.


A constant risk to the network and ultimately the hospitals are unapproved applications and rogue devices that may appear on the network and either permit unauthorized access or interfere with other devices. A means to monitor all devices and applications that operate across the network is vital. Just as important are the audit and reporting capabilities necessary to report on who, what, where, when, and how patient data is accessed.


IT operations has evolved beyond connectivity and now requires proactive monitoring and management of mission- critical applications and services, including electronic medical applications and PACs systems. Visibility into application usage, performance, and patterns of activity are important for optimizing workflow service delivery to clinicians and staff. This is also vital for optimizing the infrastructure and for both short- and long-term planning with an evidence based approach for application services.


Hospitals never close and neither does Extreme Networks’ 100% in-sourced Global Technical Access Center (GTAC.) 24/7 support ensures that all questions can be answered promptly to keep the network functioning at all times.

Extreme is the only company in the industry that takes an architectural approach to bringing products to market from R&D to product release. As a result, all of our network products from wireless to wired are managed by a single network management screen for easy management by constrained healthcare IT teams.

To learn more visit Extreme Networks Healthcare solutions site:

Required CapabilitiesRecommended SolutionHow We Do It Better
Pervasive Wi-Fi Connectivity and Bandwidth for Clinician Workflow and Communications• ExtremeWireless
• ExtremeSwitching
• Hybrid deployment architectures (Bridged at AP or Controller), single sign-on to simplify management
New Application Rollout Infrastructure Support• ExtremeSwitching
• Extreme Management Center
• Application and device based policy controls. Embedded flow-based ASIC flow sensor technology per port, 3M flows/sec collection capability
Client End System Management• Extreme Access Control• Vendor agnostic single pane of glass management system provides centralized visibility and end-to-end granular control of the unified network
Employee Mobile Device Management and Compliance• Extreme Access Control• Comprehensive integration with common MDM platforms (AirWatch, MobileIron, etc) to synchronize internal network policies and control with mobile devices
100% BYOD Application Visibility and Compliance• ExtremeAnalytics• Clearly measure and track network and application performance for evidence based IT support decisions
BYOD Consulting and Training• Professional Services
• Customer Training
• Extreme services including onsite customer consulting, design, and implementation services as well as comprehensive training curriculum
24/7 Operational Support• Maintenance• Support Center (GTAC) provides technical support 24 hours day, 365 days a year
• Extreme Networks SupportNet offerings lets you choose the exact level of service ideal for your organization

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