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Evolving Networks

Two new stories demonstrate the changes IP-based communications are bringing about in our living and working environments.In Colorado, The Children’s Hospital said it will work with Cisco partner Global Technology Resources to provide a Unified Communications system at its new, 10-story 1.44-million-square-foot campus in Aurora, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. The hospital selected a number of products from the Cisco Unified Communications portfolio, as well as from Cisco’s security, wireless, networking, and business transformation services that hold out much promise for improved patient care and hospital administration.The new network will be able to support a myriad of new applications. For example, hospital staff will be able to use hand-held devices to check medication levels, helping ensure that patients receive the correct dosage and type of drugs, Ryan Frymire, the hospital’s director of IT, told the Denver Post.In addition, a nurse-call system, which patients use to request water, assistance or medication will let patients have two-way communication directly with the nursing desk. That would allow tasks such as fetching ice chips to be handled by nursing assistants rather than registered nurses. In Las Vegas, Clark County’s new Regional Justice Center is deploying an IP multimedia communications network that promises much change in court administration.”The new network is helping government go to the people rather than the other way around,” Chuck Short, executive officer for Clark County’s court system said in a News@Cisco story. “We really want to take distance out of the equation for access to justice.”Clark County has already used video conferencing to conduct a divorce court case for a woman homebound on the East Coast due to illness. Additionally, Cisco’s wireless network in the Justice Center now lets visitors or workers log-on in the building. The network allows attorneys, for example, to use the wireless connection to display computer-based slideshows for courtroom presentations.

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