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Union Shenzhen Hospital digitalizes with optical networks

(Posted Oct. 2023) Speed vs. reliability. This is one of the main reasons healthcare providers worldwide often hesitate to adopt the latest digital technologies. When it comes to patient care, there’s no point implementing new tools if they are unreliable. That’s one reason paper-based patient files remain so prevalent at hospitals worldwide. Paper records may take more time to share than digital ones, but they don’t inexplicably disappear, for example. 

However, once they are assured of the reliability of digital technologies, healthcare providers embrace them with enthusiasm. This is because the benefits are so great. Digitalization in healthcare paves the way for quicker data sharing, better care, and the seamless integration of resources between large hospitals and satellite clinics. 

Union Shenzhen Hospital

Huazhong University of Science and Technology Union Shenzhen Hospital, Union Hospital for short, is the first all-optical network hospital in the province of Guangdong in southern China. To achieve this, it adopted Huawei's Campus OptiX Solution. Supported by a simplified architecture, the solution provides fiber connections that help build the hospital's Internet of Things (IoT). 

This solution has enabled high-quality information sharing in diagnosis and treatment rooms, wards, and CT scanning scenarios. Since the deployment of the all-optical network architecture, data access has become smoother than ever. Taking medical imaging for example, about 1,000 images are generated during a dual-source CT scan. It might take 20 to 30 seconds to access this data during service peak hours over a traditional network, but with the new all-optical network architecture, it takes just one second. 

With digital technologies, medical images are easily viewed and transferred. 

This solution has also facilitated referrals between the hospital and community health centers in Nanshan District, as it allows for teleconsultation and quicker sharing of and access to test results. This helps make full use of the hospital's high-quality medical resources, promotes equity in healthcare, and brings more convenient and quality healthcare services to the general public.
“Traditional networks in the hospital are replaced by all-optical networks which brings multiple benefits,” says Lv Zhouping, vice director of network technology at Union. “First, all-optical networks have a flatter structure compared with traditional networks, and second, all-optical networks can bring higher bandwidth with lower latency.” 

Medical professional can access medical data more easily

The all-optical network solution not only improves the efficiency and effectiveness of traditional healthcare services, but also lowers the cost of network operation and maintenance (O&M). Thanks to these improvements, the solution has gained high recognition from the customer. "Our hospital decided to make the switch from a traditional network to an all-optical network, mainly because the latter provides a flatter architecture, higher bandwidth, and lower latency," a Union manager says. This has improved the overall O&M efficiency of the hospital network by about 60%, compared with the traditional solution, the hospital official adds.