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    Almana Hospital: Upgrading Medical Towers to Build a Fully-Connected Hospital

The hospital hopes that all patients and medical staff can be guaranteed a fully-connected network experience in all scenarios, covering registration, consultation, prescription, hospitalization, and surgery.

The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia extends from the pristine beaches of the Persian Gulf all the way through the luxuriant palm trees in the Al-Ahsa Oasis to the hinterland of Rub' al Khali Desert. Aside from its rich landforms, the Eastern Province has been a trade hub for centuries, housing numerous cultural landmarks and also witnessing the development of countless enterprises.

Since its humble beginning as a dental clinic in 1949, Almana Hospital has blossomed into one of the largest medical institutions in Saudi Arabia. Today, the hospital has branches in the four major cities of the Eastern Province — Dammam, Khobar, Jubail, and Hofuf — where it leads the way in applying world-class ICT technologies to the medical field. Additionally, this hospital has over 7,000 trained and experienced medical staff who provide outstanding medical services for citizens in and around the Eastern Province.

Medical Tower 2 — Start of the Fully-Connected Vision

Generations of local residents in the Eastern Province have witnessed the Almana Hospital's explorations and development. Over time, this hospital has carried out continuous upgrades and expansions, gradually benefiting more and more communities. In 2019, Almana Hospital completed construction of its Medical Tower 2 to stand alongside its original Medical Tower 1. Medical Tower 2 has 10 floors and a total area of 20,000 square meters. It houses important departments such as emergency, radiology, and laparoscopy. It is also fitted with state-of-the-art ICT and medical facilities in all workspaces and wards.

In constructing Media Tower 2, Almana Hospital created a pilot and new starting point for its digital transformation, hoping to take its connectedness to a new level. The hospital hopes that all patients and medical staff can be guaranteed a fully-connected network experience in all scenarios, covering registration, consultation, prescription, hospitalization, and surgery. With this vision, Almana Hospital started to look for an ideal partner to assist in its ICT digital transformation. Such a partner would help the hospital perform optimal network planning in various service scenarios, upgrade the existing campus and data center networks, and adopt a more open and future-proofed architecture for sustainable evolution.

Journey with Huawei

After several rounds of testing and analysis, Almana Hospital ultimately chose Huawei as its network technology partner. The cooperation soon kicked off with the network upgrade of Medical Tower 2.

To enable all-scenario connectivity for this highly modern medical tower, Huawei's professional network planning team first conducted an in-depth survey. According to the survey results, the team then leveraged Huawei's CloudCampus solution to plan network connection solutions for different areas, such as offices, wards, waiting rooms, and data centers. Subsequently, to achieve high-quality network connection and simplified O&M, the team deployed Huawei's CloudEngine S12700E series switches, AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 series network access products, and intelligent network operations platform. In addition, all network devices have PoE power supply, reducing energy consumption and OPEX.

Huawei CloudEngine S12700E series switches are Huawei's flagship products designed for next-generation high-quality campus networks. Featuring powerful capacity expansion and flexible service upgrade capabilities, these products are also packed with security features, meeting SLA and trustworthiness requirements in complex medical scenarios. Huawei AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 APs stand out among many other network access products with a host of unique technologies including 3D WLAN planner, dynamic-zoom smart antenna, Coordinated Spatial Reuse (CoSR), and scenario-specific configuration self-optimization. In this way, the APs deliver "200 Mbps @ Anywhere" wireless experience for Almana Hospital.

Thanks to this fully-connected platform, patients, patients' family members, and partners can easily access the Internet or hospital patient service platform, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Aside from this, medical staff can also access the electronic health record (EHR) or hospital information system (HIS) platform anywhere, greatly improving work efficiency and network experience.

Growing Together

Currently, the cooperation between Huawei and Almana Hospital has expanded from Medical Tower 2 to all its branches and training centers. With more than 30 years of experience in the communications domain, Huawei works with Almana Hospital to usher in a new phase of digital transformation and stride towards three major goals:

  • Ubiquitous connectivity: free and secure human-to-device, human-to-human, and hospital-to-hospital data flow.
  • Energy saving and simplicity: lower power consumption, smaller footprint, and more intelligent end-to-end IT O&M.
  • Future-proofed: applying the most advanced technologies, which are open and evolvable.

To quickly make full use of the fully-connected platform, Huawei customizes in-depth training courses for the O&M team of Almana Hospital to get them quickly up to speed with the new products and platform, thereby achieving smooth digital transition. At present, more and more Almana engineers are becoming experts in Huawei's datacom technologies and even obtaining Huawei certifications.

With these ICTs on board, this half-century-old hospital has now developed powerful innovative capabilities. And with the fully-connected platform, Almana Hospital can aggregate, share, and analyze its massive medical data. This helps to shift the focus of healthcare from treatment to prevention, share healthcare achievements, and ultimately rise above healthcare challenges.

Almana Hospital is now able to serve more citizens in the Eastern Province, safeguarding more individuals and families. As a trusted partner for digital transformation, Huawei will continue its cooperation in digital transformation with Almana Hospital to practice the hospital's core values — always being patient-centric, making innovations and optimization in all available fields, and ultimately offering world-class medical services.