Connectivity in the healthcare sector today is characterized by a high degree of proprietary profiles and interfaces that are developed specifically for different healthcare areas, standardized by the Healthcare Level 7 (HL7) initiative, referred to as the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).
In addition to the HL7 initiative, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is working toward a standards-based communication protocol, particularly for the radiology vertical. While these initiatives foster data transmission and communication within each vertical, they complicate inter-vertical communication, because these proprietary profilers of the same protocol do not automatically interoperate with each other.
To enable seamless communication between different medical verticals, wireless connectivity in the healthcare sector has recently started to gain some traction, with every major hospital being equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity. However, the use of wireless connectivity in the healthcare sector, at the moment, is largely limited to Information Technology (IT) applications in the healthcare environment and not for medical use cases, as the application of wireless Wi-Fi communication technology still uses frequencies on the Industrial, Scientific, Medical (ISM) bands and, therefore, has to employ “listen before transmitting,” making it susceptible to network disturbances from outside jamming. While the use of proprietary profiles can help mitigate this, it would introduce an additional degree of proprietary fragmentation, therefore complicating the communication between different healthcare entities (e.g., hospitals) with each other.
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