Hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities have come to rely on the real-time capabilities of two-way radios (walkie talkies). The question for many of them today is whether to upgrade to digital radios.
Motorola Solutions designed the XPR7350 portable digital radio to make that decision a lot easier. Part of Motorola’s MOTOTRBO line of digital communications gear, the XPR7350 is the entry-level model of the XPR7000 Series. It doesn’t have the keypad or LCD screen like the XPR7550, but it packs the prime components of the 7000 Series:
- Dual digital/analog mode so hospitals can keep using their old radios while taking advantage of the latest digital technology in the new ones
- Best-in-class audio that can tune out loud noises on the helipad and enhance the ability to speak softly in areas where silence is golden
- Rugged build and waterproof case for staff working in the emergency room entrance or doing outdoor maintenance
- Emergency button to immediately summon help
- GPS tracking, which keeps administrators current on the locations of their radio-equipped workers
- Advanced data applications and capabilities to help administrators optimize their operations
- Encryption to keep confidential conversations private
Let’s look at how the XPR7350 can help out in the main departments of a hospital:
Motorola Solutions provides high-end data capabilities and applications that make the XPR7350 an essential digital device. Its Bluetooth capability allows radio-to-radio connections to download data from one radio to another. Data generated by the radio also can be analyzed to optimize hospital operations.
The XPR7350 also can be programmed to automate certain tasks like turning security cameras on and off, and encryption allows supervisors to discuss sensitive medical and personnel issues without fear of people listening in.
Nurses can rapidly summon assistance if patients become unruly. The basic functionality of the XPR7350 makes it easy to train nurses and assistants to use it, and emergency room staff can easily use it to collaborate with first responders at the scenes of accidents and natural disasters.
The XPR7350 can be an essential tool for the entire security staff of a hospital. The digital capability means it can communicate via the hospital’s IP network, vastly expanding its range. Programmable keys can be set up to turn on security lighting, open locks and enable surveillance cameras.
Also, a transmit-interrupt feature allows one user to override all other communications, which can be essential in any kind of serious medical crisis like an infectious disease outbreak.
Rugged build and an IP57 water-protection rating ensure maintenance people do not need to worry that bumping, dropping or dunking their radio will cause a malfunction. Also, a “man-down” feature can detect when the radio falls at a certain angle or speed, and can send out an emergency alert to get help as soon as possible.
Why digital matters: a quick review
Digital radios encode voice transmissions into packets of data that can be transmitted over Internet Protocol, or IP, networks. IP capability means radios generate data that can be processed, analyzed and folded into other data sources.
Digital radios can use up to 40 percent less power than an analog model, keeping them working on the hospital floor much longer, and they provide clear voice quality up to the edge of their transmission range, so there’s far less static to interfere with communications when lives may be on the line.
It’s true that the upfront costs of two-way radios tend to be higher than analog models, but the data-analysis capabilities can enable administrators to more than recapture those costs.
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