Medical center uses wireless for IM, presence technology

Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas is using instant messaging and presence technologies over wireless networks to shrink its 120-acre campus.

Doctors can now use IM to send orders wirelessly for X-rays and other medical images to radiology technicians, who carry BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion, according to Nortel Networks in an announcement made today.

Nortel provides the unified communications software in the network, which helps transmit the location of the patient waiting for an X-ray and the severity of the need, Nortel officials said.

The wireless system means that technicians can be on any floor of a hospital building to receive an X-ray order, without wasting time return to the radiology department after each procedure, said Don Allen, Baylor's director of radiology, in a statement.

The system should increase productivity and the availability of information for a physician making a diagnosis, resulting in better patient care, Allen said. Baylor expects to extend the technology to other departments as well.

Baylor worked with Nortel and Xeta Technologies, a Nortel partner, to build the system around the Multimedia Communication Service 5100, Nortel said.

In a separate announcement related to unified communications today, FaceTime Communications in Foster City, Calif., announced its Unified Security Gateway for integrating management, security and compliance information for Web communications. The hardware, a 1-rack-unit device, starts at US$4,995 and will ship sometime this month, company officials said.

The focus of the gateway is to provide a single place to enforce safe use of Web applications, including consumer-based applications that are proliferating inside business networks, such as instant messaging, company officials said.

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