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Alef Private Mobile Networks Radically Transform Healthcare

A new paradigm in wireless communications is needed to support digital healthcare goals that enable extreme mobility, autonomy, security, and intelligence.

Wireless networks have been essential to ensure connectivity of care in healthcare environments for decades. Wi-Fi has long been the wireless network of choice for most healthcare environments and has long met the needs of patrons and the healthcare workforce. Additionally, hospital system ownership of Wi-Fi gives system administrators control over service definition, an attractive feature to hospital compliance departments from the standpoint of security and privacy.

However, due to advancements in clinical technology applications and the increased demand for Wi-Fi usage by people and machines, healthcare technology leaders have had major shifts in thinking regarding a Wi-Fi-only wireless strategy. Many of these technology leaders are now looking at private LTE/5G in the CBRS band to augment Wi-Fi and help promote caregiver safety, patient experience, and drive operational effectiveness. A new paradigm in wireless communications is needed to support digital healthcare goals that enable extreme mobility, autonomy, security, and intelligence.

As the proliferation of diverse mobile devices grows to address a wide variety of healthcare use cases, the need for deterministic network performance, mobility, and strict security becomes critical. A reliable, high-speed mobile networking infrastructure is needed that can capture large amounts of data in near real-time from potentially thousands of devices per hospital. Device-level authentication and authorization become essential to maintain patient confidentiality and comply with related government regulations securely. Current Wi-Fi and public cellular networks lack the reliability, security, capacity, and control that healthcare IT needs to keep pace with demands for ubiquitous mobile access.

The introduction of freely available Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared and private spectrum, specifically for use in developing private cellular networks, is advancing healthcare innovation. Private 4G and 5G networks deliver all the benefits of public cellular networks, such as high speeds and device density, but are securely separate from carrier networks. Because it supports emerging technologies, the adoption of private cellular networks in healthcare is growing at a breakneck pace of 76.3%, from $668 million in 2023 to over $3.6 billion by 2026. And 81% of CIOs plan to adopt private cellular network solutions by 2025.

One essential item to consider when adding a new network on top of an existing system is how the ongoing operation of the two (or more) networks will be managed. The healthcare IT department will have procedures in place to manage their existing system, usually Wi-Fi, which allows them to add and remove users and access points, among other features. The new CBRS-based private cellular network will need many of the same features as well as others, but it’s costly to maintain two parallel Identity Access Management (IAM) systems. Deploying a new private cellular network and IAM that can manage both networks in tandem is far simpler.

The Alef Edge Private Mobile Network as a Service (PMNaaS) is a robust and scalable wireless communication infrastructure based on the latest advances in cellular technology. With its deterministic network performance, high reliability, and uncompromising security, the Alef PMNaaS affordably integrates emerging healthcare use cases into existing hospital IT systems.

Reliable and Secure Private Mobile Communications from Alef Edge

Alef Edge’s Private Mobile Network (PMN) is a mobile communications network utilizing high-speed 4G and 5G cellular technology that is nimble, fast, reliable, secure, and separate from public cellular networks. Alef’s cellular-based PMN achieves high speeds, high bandwidth, and highly mobile connectivity with low latency critical for healthcare applications. The Alef PMN gives users deterministic control over use case-specific performance parameters, seamlessly integrates with existing Wi-Fi networks and security systems, and is at a fraction of the cost of on-premise hardware systems.

While cellular technology is typically complex and expensive, often requiring sizeable on-premise hardware, Alef Edge’s PMN is a cloud-based, virtual software-defined mobile network that can be rapidly deployed. Alef PMN utilizes the same infrastructure as Wi-Fi and is plugged into existing IT infrastructure, connecting devices within days without expensive and time-consuming hardware installation or rewiring. Using the CBRS spectrum and a distributed edge computing infrastructure, the Alef PMN delivers high-speed, high-capacity bandwidth that allows the collection and transfer of critical to impactful data-driven results from AI systems.

With Alef Edge’s vast selection of APIs, healthcare providers can easily customize their PMN to meet their unique needs and focus resources on high-demand use cases and areas. The Alef PMN can quickly and seamlessly integrate with hospitals’ existing IAM infrastructure. With native encryption and devices specifically provisioned for network access, Alef PMN is inherently more secure than the open access of Wi-Fi.

The healthcare industry will benefit from an Alef Private LTE/5G solution, particularly the local control that the PMN affords operators regarding service management. Alef also provides improved services across the healthcare campus, considering in-building and related facility needs.

Alef PMN-as-a-Service (PMNaaS) is a software-based virtualized mobile network solution with scalable usage-based pricing, which reduces CAPEX and is a fraction of the cost of carrier-based services.

Learn more about how Alef Edge’s Private Mobile Network-as-a-Service can enable innovative use cases that can transform healthcare contact a solution specialist.

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