GE Healthcare announced a deal to integrate its patient monitoring platform with Ascom Wireless Solutions' wireless VoIP phones, pagers and DECT handsets. The companies say the deal will enable hospitals to customize, filter and send secondary alarms to clinicians’ Ascom Voice over IP (VoIP) phones, pagers and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) handsets.
GE and Ascom point to a 2009 SpyGlass Consulting Group report from last year that found that "incompatible hospital communications systems make it difficult for nurses to effectively communicate wirelessly." The reason for collaborating is to turn "disparate patient monitoring information into an improved clinical workflow for mobile caregivers" in an effort to provide a “one-stop” solution for wireless secondary alarm management.
It's an understandable and conservative deal for GE Healthcare to partner with Ascom, an incumbent in the unified communications space for healthcare providers. Ascom, however, has a whole crop of startups and medium-sized established players making strides in the industry with smartphone-based solutions. BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion has huddled much of this flock into its corner but a number of them have iPhone offerings as well. Voalte, Amcom, Vocera, Wallace Wireless and others are working to make DECT phones and legacy pagers a thing of the past.
For more, read GE and Ascom's press release here