With decades of global population growth and the ongoing second year of the pandemic crippling health systems around the world, it's no surprise that current health infrastructures struggle to keep up with the sheer volume of tasks they are built to handle. Moreover, when it comes to the health and lives of people, there is practically no time left to think about computer networks. Should we wait until the outdated IT infrastructure starts to affect the daily processes in medical institutions?
As medical organizations continue to connect more and more medical devices and other devices to their digital environment, the shortcomings of the existing order of things are beginning to appear. Most of our healthcare facilities are missing the critical piece needed to achieve the best healthcare outcomes as a resilient network. Today, more than ever, a reliable and secure network connection is an important element for every medical organization that can blur the boundaries between information technology, patient care and business needs.
One of the medical institutions in Azerbaijan that understood the need to create a fault-tolerant network was the Sumqayıt Hospital medical clinic. The iTech Group company was involved in the implementation of the project to build a corporate network infrastructure based on Hewlett-Packard Enterprise equipment in this clinic. The contractor was tasked with providing support for mobile devices in the infrastructure of the clinic, providing the possibility of unified service management, increasing staff productivity by digitalizing a number of processes, and also ensuring the subsequent scalability of the solution. As part of the project, the network part of which was entirely based on Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Aruba solutions, access control equipment, video surveillance cameras and NVR from RaySharp, physical security systems from Anviz, network printers and a telephony system based on on DECT solutions from SNOM.
- Implementing this project, we had to eliminate numerous shortcomings made by builders when laying cables in the clinic building. This once again suggests that network infrastructure planning should be carried out at the design stage of buildings. I also want to emphasize that there are quite a lot of wireless connections used in hospitals today. And it's not just Wi-Fi. This includes DECT telephony, as well as wireless connections in the LTE network of mobile operators. But the trend is for all these services and sensors used in the latest medical equipment to switch to standardized Wi-Fi connectivity. That is why we have equipped all the premises of the clinic with the ability to connect to a wireless network, providing traffic encryption and establishing a corporate authentication process, as well as authorization of all users and devices connected to the network," says Rovshan Akbarov, Business Development Director at iTech Group.
The management of the medical clinic "Sumqayıt Hospital" perfectly formulated the objectives of the project: a secure local network infrastructure for connecting medical and computer equipment, full wireless coverage throughout the facility for Internet access for both employees of the institution, visitors and patients. And as a result of the project, the clinic received a stable network infrastructure for all types of medical and computer equipment. A wireless network was also built for staff and patients.
- The Zahra Clinic medical center also took the course towards building a fault-tolerant network, where Hewlett-Packard Enterprise switching equipment was included in the list of devices used in the network infrastructure. This medical institution also perfectly understood the need to build a competent physical security system, opting for the integrated solution we proposed from Anviz and RaySharp video surveillance systems. The IP telephony system at Zahra Clinic, as well as at the Sağlam Aile medical center, where this system also supports the vital functions of the call center, was implemented together with our long-term partner, 3CX. I also want to note that the project to create a network based on IP-telephony in the medical center "Sağlam Aile" included an interesting task of connecting the branch of the center in Ganja. And I want to thank the IT-specialists of this company for their comprehensive support and active participation in the implementation of the project, - said Tural Zargarov, Project Manager at iTech Group.
Usually, when people begin to feel unwell, they first go to the pharmacy and buy medicines there to relieve symptoms before making an appointment with a doctor. Pharmacies today can be found in any district of the capital and regions of Azerbaijan. Over time, they have evolved from small premises to large pharmaceutical chains with a much wider range of products, including hygiene products and cosmetics. Pharmacy network management is a complex process with a huge supply chain and optimized logistics, because every sale of prescription drugs must be tracked and entered into the database in a timely manner so that customers can receive the drugs they need. To track this process, the pharmacy must always be in touch, so such a network cannot do without IP telephony, which is cheaper than conventional mobile communications. You do not have to run wires to the branch office or pharmacy, and your employees will be able to stay in touch from anywhere.
AzeriMed, which sells pharmaceuticals, has the widest network of over 170 pharmacies in Azerbaijan. The company continues to implement 3CX solutions in order to unify the company's distributed branch network into one communication environment. The iTech Group is also involved in the implementation of this project.
- Our solutions are designed with the help and on the basis of the recommendations of the world's leading manufacturers of telephony systems, and they have already proven their effectiveness in a number of our customers' enterprises. Certified specialists of our company, involved in projects for the implementation and maintenance of IP-telephony systems, are required to undergo training and certification in voice transmission technologies in general and IP-telephony in particular. Traditional PBXs, if necessary, to add functionality or increase the number of subscribers, require the purchase of expensive expansion cards and software modules. Having opted for the 3CX solution, AzeriMed received maximum functionality and the ability to combine remote employees in branches and pharmacies into a single communication space. No additional equipment is needed, nor a long and complicated process of its implementation and integration with the existing system, - says Rovshan Akbarov, Business Development Director at iTech Group.
Of course, these are only the first and small steps towards the digitalization of the country's medical sector, but they can reduce the growth rate of costs for the operation of healthcare systems, improve the quality of medical services in the short and long term, improve clinical, social and economic efficiency, as well as increase the availability of medical care. The goals of digitalization are dynamic due to constantly changing needs and opportunities offered by digital products, but our integrators already have experience in this area.