Intel said it has shipped WiMax equipment to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, which will give medical staff, emergency managers and refugees high-speed Internet access. That will give doctors and other healthcare providers access to patient medical records (when available) and help track potential emerging threats from infectious diseases. The New York Times reports that a wireless provider group called Part 15.org is helping out as well by setting up wireless hotspots throughout the region. With existing network infrastructure down and unlikely to return anytime soon in most places, experts say the technology could play a crucial role in restoring healthcare services quickly.
As it happens, Intel is well-positioned to lead a wireless charge. Last month the company launched a "digital communities" initiative, stressing the value of wireless technology for government services and city government. According to Intel management, similar WiMax efforts are planned throughout the area.