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Wavelink eyes mobile device management for health care

Wavelink Corp. has made a name for itself in mobile device management. Its Wavelink Avalanche wireless device and infrastructure management platform is used to manage smartphones, tablets and printers at such retailers as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Costco WholeSale Corp., and Marks & Spencer PLC.

At last month’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s HIMSS 2011 conference, Wavelink made it known that it was ready to take on medical device management as well.

There’s no question that the health care industry would benefit from an injection of mobile device management. Hardly a day goes by without a study demonstrating the effects of mobile health, especially in the developing world. Such studies, combined with the sheer computing power, usability and extensibility of smartphones, will only hasten the introduction of mobile devices into hospitals, research facilities and community health centers.

In a brief chat with, Jay Cichosz, Wavelink’s vice president of marketing, said the company is a good fit for health care for several reasons:

  • Wavelink products are already used in pharmaceutical warehouses for inventory management.
  • With its retail clients, the company has experience with such regulations as payment card industry compliance and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • Avalanche Remote Control lets administrators connect to devices via a Web browser to address common end user problems, such as low battery power and misconfigurations.
  • The company plans to announce support at the end of March for the Apple Inc. iOS and the Google Inc. Android mobile operating systems, Cichosz said.

Tracking medical devices on and off hospital campuses will be a tremendous challenge. It will be tough, for example, to enforce geofencing, which uses the Global Positioning System, or GPS, to set virtual barriers for where a device can and cannot go, when a physician needs to check a patient’s status from, say, the airport.

Whether Wavelink Avalanche and other mobile device management platforms can succeed in the health care industry will depend on whether these systems can address health care’s unique compliance, authentication and data encryption needs.

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