Nebraska-based telemedicine company Visio Health leveraged Cradlepoint hardware and technology for its diagnostic telemedicine carts. Specifically, the company used Cradlepoint to create a perimeter-secured overlay network with optimized WAN path selection.
Visio Health is a value-added reseller for AMD Global Telemedicine, meaning that it takes AMD products and adds network strategies, consults on healthcare workflow design and clinical workflow design, and builds telemedicine hardware and software.
One of its most prominent products is its diagnostic telemedicine cart, basically a medical workstation on wheels. The battery-powered carts contain a computer, with at least one monitor, which communicates with a number of FDA medical devices, such as ECG machines, stethoscopes, etc., in order to give health care professionals two-way conferencing.
Cradlepoint helped the company create a tenant network on the carts or “cart-area network,” said Visio Health VP of Technology Anthony Stanley.
According to Stanley, one of the main dilemmas on-site or at trade shows was the existing network didn’t support real-time video or a good demo. “We needed some kind of universal fix to the problem with firewall transversal and just bad commodity quality internet connections.”
To solve the problem, the carts are now equipped with a Cradlepoint router, managed and monitored by the Cradlepoint NetCloud platform with software-defined perimeter, enabling Internet of Things (IoT) security, and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) functionality, for intelligent WAN path selection and traffic steering.
The Cradlepoint deployment is currently at 58 different health sites, but will ultimately reach around 112 sites by the beginning of summer, said Stanley.
The router is from Cradlepoint’s IBR600B series of routers, which are designed to create a secure, cloud-managed IoT network. Paired with the NetCloud platform, Visio Health has what Stanley referred to as a “single-pane of glass management,” which allows them to monitor and manage the devices remotely, minimizing IT management from the health groups where the devices are.
Cradlepoint’s Netcloud LTE-enabled SD-WAN helps provide connectivity to a lot of the nursing facilities and health sites which are largely in rural mountain areas where gaining connectivity can be expensive and time-consuming.
But by using Cradlepoint, Visio Health was able to use multiple radios from multiple carriers, taking advantage of LTE and LTE-Advanced. “It gives us the ability to just plop those sites down without a lot of site prep in a way that it just wouldn’t be feasible if we were managing last-mile connections to all of these sites,” Stanley said.
He added that this was one of the main reasons Visio Health chose this hardware mix over other vendors’. It can use WiFi, Ethernet, and 4G connectivity to create a WAN source they can monitor for jitter and path optimization.
“We are a tenant on your [the hospital’s, clinic’s] network,” explained Stanley. “We do not participate in your network, we can all coexist on this WAN connection together with no real configuration changes required.”
Visio Health also uses Cradlepoint SD-WAN in its own offices for 4G connectivity in case the company’s fiber connection fails.
And while Visio Health evaluated other vendors, it landed on Cradlepoint. “We’re not an enterprise company, and because of that we’re very budget conscious, we need enterprise features, but I can’t go out and license a product that designed to be sold in thousand end-point increments,” said Stanley. “Cradlepoint allowed us to increment up, it was a huge flexibility add for us.”