Some Hospitals Not Just Encouraging Mobile Phone Usage, But Installing Technology To Make It Easier

from the well-that's-nice dept

Remember how hospitals were banning mobile phones out of a fear that the signal would interfere with medical equipment? That turned out to not be much of a problem and soon doctors from around the world were clamoring for the right to use their own mobile phones. A recent study even found tremendous benefits in allowing mobile phone usage in hospitals, including better communication among staff members and lower error rates, thanks to that improved communication. The latest is that some hospitals aren't just allowing mobile phone usage, they're making it possible by installing local antennas to make it even easier for mobile phones to work. The hospitals point out that this is likely to lower the likelihood of interference, as the mobile phones don't have to broadcast as strong a signal if the "tower" is so close. Then, of course, there's the benefit of having happier patients who can more easily stay in touch with friends and family (and also making it easier for those friends and family members to visit). All in all it seems to make a lot of sense, though there are still some holdouts among hospitals that don't feel there's enough evidence to allow mobile phones into hospitals just yet.

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  1. identicon
    Craig, 6 Sep 2007 @ 1:28pm

    I agree...but...

    CNN doesn't. Their doc-cum-reporter Sanjay Gupta just aired a video saying a study out of Denmark showed that GSM cellular data transmissions can interfere.
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2007/09/06/gupta.cell.phone.hospital.cnn

    All I know is that many of the best, most high-tech hospitals in the US are distributing phones (both CDMA and GSM) to their medical staff, so I don't see how this is a significant, widespread problem (wouldn't all these docs have noticed something odd by now?).

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