NEC Corporation used its Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solution to develop a safe and flexible in-hospital network that facilitates collaboration between basic research and clinical healthcare in the new ward of Keio University Hospital, one of Japan's most prestigious medical institutions.
"Keio University Hospital is an advanced treatment hospital that accepts nearly 3,000 outpatients per day. The new hospital ward was constructed with the aim of not only integrating basic and clinical medicine and healthcare, but also to offer optimal healthcare services as a leader in the field," said Tsutomu Takeuchi, Hospital Director, Keio University Hospital. "NEC's SDN solutions excel in many areas, such as providing greater convenience through collaboration between multiple networks, ensuring the security of each network, and operating and managing the network to prevent the discontinuation of service. These SDN solutions have helped solve the network problems of Keio University Hospital, and by 2020 we aim to have all of our existing networks built with SDN."
Keio University Hospital (hosp.keio.ac.jp) separates the hospital network that handles the confidential personal information of patients for use in medical care from the network of the School of Medicine that is used in research purposes. SDN is used to integrate networks that were divided between electronic charts and other medical care systems and basic research systems, and then connect these networks with the desired network whenever necessary and at any location in terms of systems for use in medical care and basic research. By making the most of the features of SDN, the security level of each virtual network can be easily preset. This also allows for the protection of the highly confidential personal information of patients. Because the network administrator can independently add or change the network, a new service can be quickly launched. This can shorten additional network development, which sometimes used to take several months, to mere hours.
The intensive control of the network provides for fault tolerance and achieves a high level of availability, allowing the network to work round-the-clock for 365 days a year. Network changes may be adjusted to specific hours and days, such as at night and on days off. This eliminates the need to temporarily suspend operations at the medical facility. In the event of an emergency, the network can be switched to the old network to prevent the discontinuation of medical services.
"NEC is an industry pioneer in the research and development of SDN, and has already delivered more than 600 SDN-based systems internationally. Utilizing the experience and know-how accumulated through these achievements, NEC will support Keio University Hospital's efforts to integrate basic and clinical medicine and healthcare," said Jiro Kitakaze, General Manager, Smart Networks Division, NEC Corporation.
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