Huawei's FTTO Solution Facilitates the Smart Transformation of Wuhan Puren Hospital
As new technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and Internet of Things (IoT) gain momentum in the healthcare industry, hospitals are accelerating towards intelligence to meet surging healthcare service requirements.
The Affiliated Puren Hospital of Wuhan University of Science and Technology (Puren Hospital for short) is located in Wuhan, China. Established nearly seventy years ago, today it is a large-scale modern grade-A tertiary hospital that provides comprehensive healthcare services including medical care, disease prevention, scientific research, teaching, rehabilitation, and health protection.
During the early construction of its outpatient buildings, Puren Hospital was aware that the functionality of different rooms, such as wards and consultation rooms, may change over time. In addition, as smart healthcare terminals keep proliferating and diversifying, they need to maintain access to the hospital network and communicate with each other. With the in-depth convergence of healthcare and emerging technologies, big data is being increasingly applied in clinical practices. In medical imaging, for example, each lung CT produces more than 400 images, equivalent to 1 GB data. Traditional networks, however, cannot transmit such huge amounts of data in a short space of time. Moreover, with the surge of Internet diagnosis and treatment, mobile office, and IoT applications, cloud-based on-demand deployment blurs service boundaries, placing great pressure on network security. Against this backdrop, Puren Hospital urgently needs an elastic and secure network to support rapid expansion and rollout of new services, massive data transmission, and future smart service development.
Built on the Fifth-Generation Fixed Network (F5G) technology, Huawei's Fiber to the Office (FTTO) solution is an excellent choice for smart network construction of hospitals, said Zhao Baoping, Director of the Information Department of Puren Hospital. F5G uses optical fibers as the transmission media, enabling information points to communicate with each other via optical fibers. In this manner, a single optical network can carry all services in multiple scenarios.
Leveraging a flattened two-layer network structure, the FTTO solution employs passive optical splitters rather than traditional active aggregation switches. This minimizes the construction of auxiliary facilities such as extra-low voltage equipment rooms, air conditioning systems, and fire extinguishing systems, and in doing so saves energy, eliminates security risks, and greatly reduces the overall network fault rate. This solution extends optical fiber connections to consultation rooms, wards, and nurse stations, providing stable and rapid network access for vast numbers of wired and wireless users and terminals, such as call devices in wards, surveillance devices, and TVs. The solution also implements plug-and-play and swap-and-play of optical terminals, slashing the capacity expansion duration from 2 hours to a matter of minutes.
Puren Hospital has deployed an innovative medicine transport system. With this system, after doctors issue electronic medical advice in the consultation rooms, patients and medical staff can easily get much-needed medicines from the transport terminals at each floor without having to queue up for medicine. This improves both patients' consultation experience and the work efficiency of medical staff.
According to Mr. Zhao, FTTO is built on the hard-pipe architecture, which is equivalent to building the hospital network into a "smart" highway with barriers added between high-speed lanes. This ensures efficient operations of the medicine transport service without affecting other services in the hospital.
To solve the problems of slow download of high definition (HD) medical images and inefficient diagnosis and treatment, F5G extends direct optical fiber connections to medical devices such as PET-CT, DSA, and X-ray machines. Optical fibers provide a host of benefits such as unlimited bandwidth and a long service life of 30 years. This enables smooth evolution of the entire network from 10G to 50G, thereby better coping with elastic upgrade requirements in the next 10 years without having to re-route cables and reconstruct device platforms. In this way, existing investments are fully protected.
With the wider applications of emerging technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and IoT into the healthcare industry, as well as strong stimulation by policies and healthcare services, hospitals are accelerating towards intelligence. Typically, smart hospital construction concerns three parts: infrastructure layer, service layer, and data layer. Central to the infrastructure layer construction is the network. Oriented at medical diagnosis and treatment, doctor-patient communication, and comprehensive hospital asset management requirements, Huawei's FTTO solution is ideal for building a future-oriented hospital network that can comprehensively connect hospital data and applications, at the same time as improving the network experience of doctors and patients. This helps to consolidate the foundation of smart hospital construction. Looking ahead, Mr. Zhao said that they will continue to strengthen cooperation with high-tech enterprises to promote the information and communications technology (ICT) construction of the hospital and in turn better serve the people.