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Healthcare IT Professionals "See" Bad Wi-Fi at HIMSS Conference


Last week 7signal attended the mother-of-all healthcare IT trade shows… the HIMSS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. We met many people who were interested in learning more about our Wi-Fi performance management system for healthcare facilities. It was easy for attendees to understand and relate to our solution because, quite frankly, the public Wi-Fi in the convention center for all HIMSS attendees to use was pretty lousy.

Latency and delay were particularly poor and we proved this by connecting our Sapphire Eye to the access point directly over our booth space in the exhibit hall. We needed only to point to our Wi-Fi performance dashboard and say, "Do you see that?" The red patch on the display was so large, passers-by couldn't miss it. "We're monitoring the Wi-Fi here at HIMSS," continued Dave Lindstrom, 7signal's VP of Sales. One glance at the screen and healthcare IT professionals knew exactly what it meant. The sight invoked a predictable and visceral response from attendees…to the general effect of "...Oh, the Wi-Fi is terrible here, isn't it?"

The Sapphire Eye we demonstrated at HIMSS is a state-of-the-art sensor that works in conjunction with Wi-Fi analytics software developed by 7signal. We used this system to track and measure the throughput, packet loss, latency and jitter experienced by HIMSS attendees, not unlike how we measure Wi-Fi performance at any hospital or medical center around the country.

But measuring and "seeing" poorly performing Wi-Fi is only the first step in 7signals' Wi-Fi Performance Cycle™. Analyzing the data gathered by the system is the next step, which we accomplished using the Auto-Analyze™ feature in the new Release 5, showcased at HIMSS. The analysis provides WLAN engineers with a Wi-Fi report card and identifies all areas of the network that require attention. The solution is proactive in this manner, providing insight into poorly performing areas before they become so impaired they effect employee productivity and people begin complaining.

If the IT group running HIMSS would have asked, we would have gladly told them exactly how the Wi-Fi was impaired along with an optimization plan for improving it. The result would have been an enhanced and more productive experience for all of the healthcare IT professionals at the show. Maybe next year!