Trend: Hospitals add wireless gear to boost cell signals

Eager to give physicians, clinical staffers and patients an easy means to communicate, hospitals are increasingly building out wireless infrastructure on their campuses. This comes, in part, thanks to a growing body of research suggesting that the risk of cell phones interfering with medical devices has been exaggerated. Studies include research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in March, which suggested that phones didn't have any measurable impact on medical equipment.

One example comes from oncology and hematology clinic Zangmeister Center of Columbus, Ohio, which has installed a $70,000 antenna on its campus. Because the antenna sits within the facility, cell phones can connect even if signals are weakened by distance or interference. The antenna, which penetrates even insulated areas like radiology, was developed by vendor CellAntenna Corp. Other CellAntenna customers include Columbus regional in Columbus, IN, and Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach, FL.

To learn more about this trend:
- read this USA Today article

PLUS:  While many providers were convinced to loosen up cell regulations by the Mayo study, other researchers argue that there's still reason for concern if cell phones become common within hospitals. Article

Related Articles:
Sprint, GE offer in-building hospital wireless services. Report
Qualcomm offers telemonitoring technology. Report
Physician mobile, wireless tech use jumps. Report