During the largest and most influential Africa-focused tech event of the year, a global leader in fixed broadband wireless connectivity, InfiNet Wireless, demonstrated how its wireless solutions are benefiting healthcare facilities across the globe.
InfiNet Wireless was one of the 375 telecoms-focused exhibitions at AfricaCom 2016 demonstrating their latest innovative solutions. The event took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (ICC) between the 15th and 17th of November 2017 and attracted over 10,000 attendees from across the global telecoms industry.
InfiNet Wireless was founded in 1993 during the collapse of the Soviet Union by American entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to invest in highly skilled Russian engineers. Over the last two decades the organisation has expanded globally to become a wireless solution powerhouse, and set up its new headquarters in Malta in 2008.
“We have taken the company from being a technical R&D skilled company into what we are today – a truly global company. We have our solutions installed in more than 120 different countries, including South Africa,” said Global Vice President at InfiNet Wireless, Kamal Mokrani, during an interview with eHealthNews.
InfiNet Wireless offers a wide portfolio of fixed wireless connectivity solutions, including point-to-point and point-to-multipoint solutions, that are being used to connect companies across a number of difference sectors, including healthcare; law enforcement agencies; telecoms service providers; mining; homeland security and social enterprises, to name a few.
InfiNet Wireless has an especially strong presence in the health sector in Saudi Arabia, a sector which has been heavily invested in by government officials to ensure that they have the best medical equipment and healthcare facilities to cater for the growing health needs of the Saudi and surrounding Middle East communities.
“They have the top range of everything, but of course that means that they need good communication behind it to transmit business critical data over long ranges at high speeds. For example, they have a lot of good teaching medical centres where they use our solutions to transmit lectures from visiting medical specialists from, for instance, the US or UK,” said Mokrani.
Over and above teaching purposes, Mokrani added that the InfiNet Wireless solutions enable different regional hospitals to transmit high resolution CAT scans to remote specialists for instant analysis and diagnostic purposes.
“We even had a visiting surgeon perform a heart transplant. He had high resolution cameras all around the operating theatre and table to broadcast the procedure to an audience of about 12,000 experts from around the world. Here the key thing was high definition, which we delivered without a glitch,” said Mokrani.
InfiNet Wireless is involved in similar projects, though on a smaller scale, in other countries that include Hungary, Russia and the UK where they provide a network to connect GP clinics, healthcare facilities and hospitals for the easy and secure transfer of electronic health records (EHRs).
“Chances are that they will be using InfiNet connectivity to provide remote access to databases and the big data centres,” said Mokrani.
In South Africa, InfiNet Wireless solutions are being used primarily in the mining industry, e.g. by Anglo American and De Beers Group to connect remote sites to the control centres or headquarters to enable the transmission of voice, data and video.
“Video is important because some of these sights are very expensive assets, so they have to make sure that they control and remotely monitor their 24 hour operations and to make sure that health and safety aspects are respected,” said Mokrani.
“We even link up the on-board computers of the big moving trucks that transport the raw materials extracted to processing plants to the headquarters, so that they can know where the truck is at any particular point in time,” continued Mokrani.
InfiNet Wireless also has large installations with internet service providers (ISPs) across South Africa to provide internet access to enterprise markets.
“We do a lot of internet access for enterprise offices of all kinds, as well as work for local governments and city councils. We also provide connectivity for sophisticated cameras that can do face analytics and number plate recognition in areas such as critical road junctions or sporting events,” said Mokrani.
InfiNet Wireless solutions were also selected as a primary connectivity provider to specific third party clients for the 2010 Football World Cup to transmit live football games and interviews wirelessly, specifically where the national telecoms were unable to deploy optic fibres within the tight deadlines.
The 2010 World Cup was a prime example of how InfiNet Wireless solutions can be used in instances where there’s lack of wired connectivity infrastructure, a barrier that many remote healthcare facilities face in South Africa.
While InfiNet Wireless already has a presence in South Africa, they are still looking to find the right partners to enter the healthcare sector. “We don’t want to enter a sector of the industry if we don’t have the right partners. We may have the technology, but we want people who understand the challenges within the [healthcare] sector,” said Mokrani.
“If I speak about ISPs or telecoms operators, we know them because I personally worked for operators in the past. If I go into the health sector, I need partners who understand what the challenges are because we are here to fix problems,” concluded Mokrani.
EHEALTH NEWS, SOUTH AFRICA, November 2016