Monday, April 17, 2006

Health Care Automation Bandwidth

When it comes to automation, health care is the new manufacturing. With health care costs escalating and a Baby Boomer population that is only getting older and more in need of the best our health care industry has to offer, the opportunity for cost savings is almost a given. As health care professionals migrate from prescription pads and paper files to PDAs and electronic data transfer, the need for digital bandwidth is multiplying.

While "best effort" Internet connections such as DSL and Cable broadband are suitable for casual Internet access, they are inappropriate for serious reliable connectivity. The low cost of such services is not so much due to an outdated or unreliable technology as it is due to being shared bandwidth with no guarantees of throughput or availability. Often hundreds or thousands of casual Internet users are multiplexed to the same Internet connection with the assumption that only a certain number of people will be online at once. As more users log-on, the shared service slows down.

The basic professional WAN or Wide Area Network service is the T1 line. It offers a guaranteed and exclusive bandwidth of 1.5 Mbps for both upload and download plus a service level guarantee. T1 is a regulated and tariffed telecommunications service and gets the support you would expect for a high availability connection. A 1.5 Mbps bandwidth is generally enough to support small medical or insurance offices or independent medical professionals. Small clinics who do not have heavy documentation upload or medical imaging requirements may also be serviced by a T1 line.

Another big advantage of T1 service is that it is almost universally available. T1 was engineered to be provisioned on two pair of copper telco cable, so if you have conventional phone lines, you can probably get a T1 line installed. Cost is different for every installation, being based on the distance from your building facilities to the nearest telco office. This is called the local loop. From the local office, a T1 signal by be carried any distance over competitive network facilities.

What happens if you run out of bandwidth? T1 line service is designed to be easily multiplied or "bonded" by combining, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or more T1 lines together so that they act as a single data pipe. Bandwidths of 9 Mbps are often easily obtained even in smaller towns or remote areas.

Hospitals and larger medical offices, especially those heavily involved in teleradiology and centralized medical records storage, will require higher bandwidth circuits. A T3 line or DS3 service provisioned on fiber optic cabling, delivers 45 Mbps. This is enough to support full motion video conferencing and high bandwidth data transfers.

Larger medical operations are finding even DS3 service too limiting for highly computerized facilities. With fiber optic bandwidth, there is practically no limit to the bandwidth available. Metro SONET or Gigabit Ethernet services provide hundreds to thousands of Mbps. DWDM or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing lights up dedicated fiber optic loops to provide the Giga and even Tera bits per second needed for backup storage and medical campus interconnections.

What WAN bandwidth do you need and what does it cost? Let our bandwidth specialists at Shop for T1 help you choose the optimum service for minimizing costs today with planned growth potential for future use. You'll find a quick online inquiry form and toll free support number at T1 Rex.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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