Two-Thirds Of NHS Trusts Have No Patients With Wi-Fi

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Reseller opportunity to beam more wireless into healthcare, FoI findings reveal

Resellers have only enabled Wi-Fi systems for patients’ use in 36 percent of NHS Trusts, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

With NHS spending set to rise by 4.2 percent this year, reaching an annual spend of £830 million by 2015-16, this presents healthcare resellers with an opportunity to upgrade outdated network infrastructures with Wi-Fi technology, according to Enterasys Networks, which requested the FoI data.

BYOD and soul

The survey of 78 acute NHS trusts also found the lack of Wi-Fi for patients extended to NHS staff too. Around 82 percent of the Trusts don’t permit staff to connect personal devices to hospital networks while just 10 percent have a formal staff BYOD policy in place today.

“There are so many ways that Wi-Fi can be used to benefit patients as well as staff in the healthcare sector, yet it’s one of the slowest to seize the opportunity that BYOD offer,” said Mark Pearce, strategic alliance director at Enterasys Networks.

“The public has a growing appetite to be connected and the technology is there to make it happen securely, safely and reliably,” he added.

Harley Street psychotherapist Jennifer Dew explained that the benefits can aid recovery: “Patients who can regularly access family and friends using personal devices while they recuperate suffer less from isolation and loneliness and are more likely to make a speedier recovery. If access to WiFi helps to make some patients get better sooner, what’s not to like?”

Pearce said that, if the Government really wants to invest in and improve the NHS, incentivising trusts to open their Wi-Fi networks and expand connectivity is an inexpensive way to make a huge difference to many patients as well as benefiting staff.

Mahmood Chaudhri, managing director at Datrix, a specialist healthcare reseller said: “With so few NHS staff or patients yet to benefit from the BYOD revolution, the healthcare sector is clearly ripe for resellers to add real value by adding Wi-Fi to their portfolio. If resellers are willing to put in the work with Wi-Fi they can quickly come out on top, at a time when budgets are being squeezed to the maximum.”

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