Connected Health Entertainment Solution Underpinned by ZyXEL UK

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IP DSLAM, Ethernet and Gigabit switches, ADSL routers

"ZyXEL is in a unique position to provide fully integrated end-to-end networking infrastructure combined with high levels of good quality customer service. Put simply ZyXEL is considered a true partner to Hospedia."

Stephen Clay
CTO, Hospedia Ltd.

Background

Hospedia provide bedside entertainment services for up to 10 million patients every year in over 150 hospitals across the UK. The company has invested over £160m into providing the service at no cost to the NHS. Hospedia acquired Patientline in July 2008. The new management team have restructured the business and secured significant new investment funds, which led to the launch of free calls packages for patients and new services for both hospitals and patients.

As Hospedia rolled out service and hardware upgrades to its existing and new bedside communication and entertainment systems, it needed to team with a networking vendor who could provide a complete and service-focused solution. ZyXEL's range of IP DLSAM, Ethernet Switches, Gigabit switches and ADSL routers combined with its personal customer service has delivered exactly what was required.  

Challenges

Retro fitting in hospitals, by its very nature, presents many challenges. Minimal disruption to the smooth running of the hospital is paramount. Hospedia provides innovative bedside entertainment solutions to some 10 million patients a year and is constantly looking to improve and add value to the services it offers. As part of a nationwide upgrade and new field installation programme, Hospedia needed to partner with a networking vendor who could provide for all of their networking requirements ensuring consistency, interoperability, familiarity and crucially speed of deployment.

Solutions and Benefits 

Hospedia turned to ZyXEL UK as its preferred supplier of networking and DSLAM products due to the end-to-end scale of equipment that can be supplied by one-single vendor. Depending on the existing hospital infrastructure there were two solutions that Hospedia could choose to deploy:

ZyXEL Switches Across Cat 5e Ethernet Cabling
This solution is based on hospitals that have Cat 5e Ethernet cabling and consists of ZyXEL switches at the core and access levels of the network. At the core of the network, the ZyXEL XGS-4528F L3 Managed 10G Stackable Switch is used, allowing either copper or fibre gigabit links to be used. The port requirements in the wards determines whether the access layer switch needs to be the ZyXEL ES-3148 48 port 10/100 L2 Managed Switch or ES-2024A 24 port 10/100 L2 Managed Switch. Both these switches have dual-personality allowing for copper or fibre uplinks to be used for connection back to the core switch. This gives greater installation flexibility allowing for a choice in the best method of connectivity. 

Twisted Pairs with ZyXEL DSL Technology
The twisted pair deployment uses ZyXEL IP DSLAM and DSL products. Depending on the number of bedside units to connect, either the ZyXEL IES-5000M 6.5U 10 slot MSAN Chassis or the ZyXEL IES-6000M 12.5U 17 slot MSAN Chassis is used. The bedside units are then connected via a ZyXEL P660R ADSL2+ Router. The ZyXEL XGS-4528F L3 Managed 10G Stackable Switch is then used in the core of the network to supply the security and routing functions that are required by the network.

Because the ZyXEL networking solutions are interoperable with the legacy infrastructure installed within the hospitals, the speed with which Hospedia can deploy is greatly increased saving both time and money. Contributing to this is the ability for Hospedia to pre-configure ZyXEL's solutions 'off-site' enabling the actual installation to become virtually 'plug and play'.

For the hospitals, a modernisation programme that can deliver 15" touch screen to the bedside entertainment, with applications including telephony, digital TV and Internet access with the minimum of disruption is critical. In addition, over the longer term the reliability of ZyXEL equipment means that hospitals are able to reduce their ongoing maintenance costs. 

Hospedia now has a networking solution set which can be pre-configured prior to installation. Once on site the ZyXEL infrastructure can be installed in a matter of hours with the minimum of downtime or inconvenience to patients with the added benefits of ZyXEL's customer service providing support to Hospedia as and when required. Due to ZyXEL's complete range of networking hardware which can easily scale Hospedia is able to fulfil their entire requirements from one vendor, minimising cross vendor incompatibilities.

Hospedia continues to roll out its extensive upgrade and installation programme across its customer base with some 5000 bedside units already upgraded. Looking forward, Hospedia may look to introduce ZyXEL's wireless technology to support deployments where this connectivity is better suited to the site environment.

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