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New Cradlepoint solution addresses need for connectivity at temporary healthcare locations

Dee Dee Pare

E300 LTE-Enabled Router Provides Portability, Security, and Simplicity for Larger-Space Pop-Up Networks

For healthcare, public safety, education, and other organizations at the center of the COVID-19 crisis, providing an emergency network response for frontline workers is the No. 1 priority. The network needed in these instances has specific requirements that surpass what’s needed for a fixed branch or a traditional office.

As the healthcare response to COVID-19 moves from testing to treatment, larger footprint pop-up sites such as tents, convention centers, cathedrals, and other temporary spaces have different needs for the network than what was used in smaller locations. These sites house many healthcare workers and connected equipment; require patient Wi-Fi access for virtual family visits; and have greater availability, security, and compliance requirements.

Cradlepoint NetCloud Service for Branch with the new E300 router is ideally suited to connect these pop-up locations to the Internet and critical applications. It meets the stringent requirements of healthcare and public safety agencies while enabling rapid deployment and high performance.

Portable, Reliable Cellular Performance with Rapid Deployment Capabilities

Many of the temporary locations serving as temporary treatment centers were not wired for networks or the specific needs of serving as an extension of healthcare delivery organization. Therefore, reliable cellular connections are the first requirement to quickly implement these networks. Additionally, these networks need remote management capabilities, as there won’t likely be any onsite IT staff. Best practices to consider for optimal performance in these circumstances include:

  • Zero-touch deployment so the endpoint can be shipped directly to the pop-up location, powered, and established in minutes
  • Gigabit-Class cellular broadband networks with an upgrade path to 5G to ensure the best performance available, with options for future usage needs
  • Comprehensive Gigabit-Class LTE lifecycle management utilizing software-defined routing and modems to establish the best onsite connection integrity
  • Installation, management, and analytics tools to ensure continued operations even when orchestrated remotely
  • SD-WAN functionality geared for Wireless WAN connections to ensure that key traffic shaping functionality doesn’t prematurely exhaust the data plan and that critical applications receive priority

Secure Connectivity to Safeguard Corporate Networks, Meet Regulations, and Protect Patient Privacy

As temporary or pop-up networks are extensions of healthcare provider organizations, many security requirements such as HIPAA still apply.  However, security shouldn’t come at the expense of network performance and lean IT operational needs. It’s important to have enterprise-class security and manageability, even for a short-lived network. For example:

  • Often in temporary locations, the most logical security method is to establish VPN connections to the organization’s headquarters, enabling both quick, secure connectivity and effective application of security policies at headquarters. It’s important that these VPNs can be turned up quickly and integrate with existing data center technology.
  • Without onsite IT, it’s important that the pop-up network connections can be centrally monitored and that security policies can be defined and deployed at scale through cloud-based management.
  • Accessing cloud-based applications securely shouldn’t be a limitation based on policies nor performance. Cloud-based application traffic can go directly to the Internet — easing the traffic load going to the corporate tunnel — by splitting traffic at the branch and including firewall, threat protection, and content filtering at the branch edge.

Multi-Functional, All-In-One Platform Serves Many Uses and Removes Guesswork

In these pop-up health delivery locations, space is devoted to patient care. There is no wiring closet to house the equipment. In this condensed environment with limited onsite IT staff, it’s advantageous to house many capabilities in an all-in-one platform. Combining advanced routing, switching, firewall, SD-WAN, and Wi-Fi access capabilities into a single solution ensures interoperability and conserves space for what’s needed most while providing expansion ports for extending critical network services such as printers and security cameras. In these scenarios, Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6, becomes increasingly important to help patients connect to family and healthcare staff connect to critical applications and healthcare records.

Cradlepoint Can Help

Cradlepoint stands ready to lend cellular wireless networking expertise to organizations in need of assistance in these unprecedented times. For more instruction on networking best practices for common use cases, visit our COVID-19 response hub.

NetCloud Service for Branch with Cradlepoint’s new E300 Series router is ideally suited for secure, rapidly deployable pop-up networks, including for those requiring larger footprints.

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