Network infrastructure upgrades needed after pandemic’s rapid adoption of technology: experts
According to a HealthTech Twitter poll. Experts say this could lead to vendor failure following the rapid adoption of technology during the pandemic.
LeadingAge Majd Alwan, PhD, executive director of the Center for Aging Services Technologies, joined other information technology experts to offer advice on strategies and solutions to help organizations upgrade their IT infrastructures. network.
Alwan, who is also senior vice president of technology and business strategy at LeadingAge, said a growing number of older adults are using smart technology and streaming services. The pandemic has also ushered in the use of emerging technologies, including companion robots, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wearables and medical devices.
Assisted living communities often include services such as nurse call solutions, personal alarms and communication capabilities, according to HealthTech.
Retirement home providers that offer “robust” internet connections can gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, Alwan said. But the solution goes beyond upgrading an internet service provider’s systems – providers also need to upgrade their network infrastructure.
“If you look at internet users, their bandwidth demand is increasing by 50% year over year, which means it’s an exponential growth in bandwidth demand,” he told the media.
Many vendors, Alwan said, were unprepared for the explosive growth in technology use that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Installing a fiber optic backbone in individual buildings and/or units would provide the necessary bandwidth for the next five to ten years, he added.
Alwan also recommended separate networks for residents, operations, visitors and partners, to maintain cybersecurity protections.
However, all this technology comes at a cost, he said. Federal broadband infrastructure grants are available through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Alwan recommended that long-term care organizations — especially large organizations with multiple sites — partner with the state or states where they are located to apply for this funding.
“Before, the Internet was a luxury,” he says. “However, nowadays, especially after the pandemic, I think it has become a right, and I would encourage everyone to join us and make it available to their residents.”