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#CiscoPublicSafety Series: Connected Justice Solutions for Correctional Facilities

Two of the biggest problems that prison staff must face every day are security and cost. From visitation to healthcare to education, cost-efficient technology solutions can make the lives of inmates safer and better.

Cisco® Connected Justice™ and Renovo Software have partnered to integrate Renovo’s expertise in inmate visitation management and Cisco’s open communications infrastructure. This combination provides prisons and courts with the ability to offer telecommunications services that improve lives and uphold public safety standards while cutting costs.

A great example of this theory in practice is Muskegon County Jail. The Michigan jail will leverage Renovo’s videoconferencing technologies to facilitate visitation for inmates and their families, as well as streamline communication with courtrooms and lawyers. Televisitation allows inmates to maintain frequent face-to-face contact with their legal counsel and visitors without the concerns of physical safety and contraband. This technology alleviates a burden on prison personnel and eases the physiological impact of visiting a prison for families of inmates, especially children. Video visitation is not new, but Muskegon County is a pioneer in fully adopting the practice and planning for its future use. Read More »

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When Minutes Matter, You Can’t Afford to be Lost in Translation

On a recent visit to my doctor’s office, I observed something that I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past:  When a nurse called the next patient back for her appointment, a young girl also stood up and explained that her mother didn’t speak English well and asked to accompany her to interpret.

I live right outside of Washington, D.C., which is fortunately a culturally diverse area so I am used to hearing different languages on a day-to-day basis.  I guess I never really considered the impact of not speaking English when it comes to seeking medical care.  Luckily, the example above, seemed like a routine office visit, but it got me thinking about what would happen in an emergency situation where seconds count.

Paras and Associates know this scenario all too well as they provide real-time language interpreters for healthcare environments using video collaboration. PAA’s service ensures that patients anywhere in the country, who speak any language, can gain access to high quality medical interpretation in an instant. Video communications has played a significant role in their practice and has significantly reduced “lost in translation” errors by allowing doctor, patient and interpreter to see each other’s faces. The power of video overcomes language barriers that can often be misinterpreted over the phone … and herein lies my passion.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Melinda Paras, PAA’s president and CEO.  Melinda is a veteran of the medical industry and saw a need to deliver a better “business outcome” to patients and medical staff.  In this case, the business outcome could mean the difference between life and death.

Video communications can Read More »

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What, Why, Where, When, How: The New FCC Ruling Around 5 GHz

You don’t need me to tell you to know that we are in the midst of a technology revolution.  It’s mobilizing the internet.  And it’s transforming the way billions of people around the globe collaborate, communicate, and connect to the internet.

•           The education customers I work with are incorporating video and mobile applications into their curriculum with up to a 100 students in an auditorium accessing the Wi-Fi network simultaneously.

•           Healthcare customers are relying on Wi-Fi to connect patients, devices and provide nurses instant access to medical records.

•           Manufacturing customers are increasingly using Wi-Fi to enable workers on the factory floor to have real-time video conversations with experts anywhere in the globe.

What do these things have in common?  They all depend on Wi-Fi for connectivity.  In these areas, and so many more, Wi-Fi has become a central way that people access the Internet.

The FCC released a historic decision on April 1, 2014 (adopted March 31)with regards to the use of 5 GHz spectrum. Although there were many technical aspects included within this decision, one of the most interesting was making the 5150-5250 MHz U-NII 1 band available for outdoor WLAN use. Read More »

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Case Study: Innovating Patient Experiences with Collaboration

In business, clear and rapid communication is always important, but it’s most important in healthcare, where saving minutes or even seconds can make all the difference. A growing number of healthcare organizations are adopting video conferencing to improve communications both internally and with patients. The potential benefits are huge.

Internal video conferencing and telepresence technology can help healthcare organizations better manage rapidly escalating costs, accelerate innovation, deliver high-quality care, and maximize the use of skilled resources. Doctor-patient videoconferencing has the potential to broaden access to healthcare, add convenience, and lower costs, according to a recent InformationWeek article examining the results of its 2013 Healthcare IT Priorities survey. (The survey found that 28% of respondents are already using some form of doctor-patient video communication.)

Video is the future for Park Nicollet Health Services, a nonprofit, integrated healthcare system Read More »

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The Future of Wireless: Times are Changing Before Our Eyes

We live in amazing times, ask anyone who ever had to look up a phone number in a phone book. In the past this was the only way you could find the number to your favorite restaurant if you wanted to make a reservation. Today, all we need to do is reach into our pocket or purse and grab our mobile device, open an application and in a few seconds (not minutes) we have the phone number. Not only that, but we can see the menu and make a reservation right from the device. Over time we have become dependent on carrying the world (both personal and professional) in our pocket. With mobility, we are always on, always connected: nothing—whether it’s your team’s latest score or that email from a vendor you need to send to your boss—is more than a quick search away.

What once seemed unfathomable, this way of always being connected is now commonplace. However, as the application developers sit and think of the next killer app, the IT team has to make sure the network can not only support this new app, but also assure the performance meets the higher and higher demands of new apps. This requires the network to be more application-aware. And the reality is that more applications that require higher network performance are coming at a faster rate. Add to it new devices that use these applications are becoming accessible to everyone. On top of that, the people that use these applications and devices are becoming more demanding in terms of reliability and experience. So what is an IT person to do?

“We were ahead of the times,” says Joseph Tufano, VP and CIO of St. John’s University. “But times have changed. You see it everywhere: for example, if you go to a basketball game on campus, and there’s a timeout, everybody is using their mobile devices.”

IT is always working to increase the wireless performance of the network. However, as more bandwidth becomes available, users increase their usage and consume that bandwidth. Read More »

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