Integrators urged to focus

After successfully deploying advanced Cisco solutions in three Dubai hospitals, Emirates Computers, the network integrator behind the project, believes the time is right for channel partners to increase their focus on specific vertical markets.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  June 1, 2005

After successfully deploying advanced Cisco solutions in three Dubai hospitals, Emirates Computers, the network integrator behind the project, believes the time is right for channel partners to increase their focus on specific vertical markets. Saeed M. Agha, manager networking and security division at Emirates Computers explained: “I think that over the next year we will see increasing specialisation from network integrators in this region, into markets such as healthcare, hospitality and construction.” Rashid, Dubai and Al Wasl hospitals have installed the networking systems, designed to streamline internal communication, and provide online access to important documents and records. The networks are specifically designed for the healthcare industry. “This is the first of these projects that we have implemented, but I don’t think you will find other hospitals with as advanced wireless technology in the UAE. It is a very integral system to the hospital’s operation,” continued Agha. The wireless system works via 120 laptops on carts, used by doctors to input and access information including patient records, lab results and X-rays. The Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (DOHMS) estimates 14,500 patients have already been served through the solution since it was completed in January. Emirates Computers, a Cisco silver partner and specialist in Cisco wireless technology installed the networks over eight weeks, using between 20 and 30 engineers. “You have doctors who previously relied on papers, but can now access their work from anywhere in the hospital. It’s a totally new concept and eventually this system could be built up to incorporate many more features, like accessing e-mails, or making it so staff can be reached on their telephone extension wherever they are in the hospital,” said Agha. “Emirates Computers have a strong focus on government, and a long standing relationship with DOHMS. We have also secured the service and upgrade contract for these systems.” Wireless access to records and online lab test orders are the first steps in a project by DOHMS to introduce full digitisation of their inpatient services. “This is a historic step that will transform the entire system of our patient care through wireless technology,” said Sina Abdul Aziz Khoory, IT director at DOHMS. The number of hospitals in the Middle East making the move towards digitisation of their records is increasing. Al Salam International hospital in Kuwait recently announced that it had implemented a Cisco Medical Grade Solution. Cisco has also announced that it is already working with other hospitals in the region on possible future deployments.

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