MHUs depend highly on communication (or Internet access) to use their digital tools and transfer vital data. But since these mobile health units are always on the go and moving to remote areas, their communications tend to be unreliable, unstable, slow, insecure, and sometimes unavailable.

The ISD-V330 mobile SD-WAN solution for MHUs helps solve these challenges. The ISD-V330 is an in-vehicle Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) appliance that allows MHUs to leverage any combination of mobile transport services, such as LTE, 5G, or other broadband services. Multiple connectivity options allow MHUs to connect securely and reliably to their central health station.

Requirements

Healthcare institutions rely on digital tools and data to streamline almost every aspect of their jobs. Within the confined space of a collocated brick-and-mortar health care facility, these tools and data are supported by established communication platforms. Built-in data centers or networking infrastructure can respond to demanding digital tools usage and big data. But as soon as health care goes mobile or outside these confines, communications tend to become quite challenging.

Mobile Health Units need to be in constant communication with their headquarters, a hospital, a health center, or a research facility. They need to be connected to headquarters for uploading (or downloading) patients’ data or for healthcare support in emergencies. In addition, MHUs also need reliable and fast communications to access specific healthcare services, videoconferences, schedules, or appointment databases.

Most of the time, health care professionals rely on their smartphones as their preferred digital tools and data transport devices to do the job. Although smartphones can be lifesavers, in reality, they are unreliable when it comes to remote healthcare communications.

The Mobile Health Units’ in-vehicle communications need the following:

  • Reliability: MHUs need reliable wireless and mobile Wide Area Network (WAN) communications to their headquarters.
  • QoS: They need QoS-optimized networks to prioritize different health care services and provide better services.
  • Coverage: Mobile Health Units need to travel where they are needed, which are often remote, underserved communities without broadband coverage. Regardless of where MHUs travel, they need coverage, whether 3G, 4G, or VSAT.
  • Security and Compliance. MHUs connect to healthcare institutions and upload/download patients’ data, so security is paramount.

The Mobile SD-WAN for Mobile Health Units.

The key to improving the Mobile Health Unit’s communication is to leverage in-vehicle networking platforms that allow seamless Wide Area Network (WAN) communication with headquarters. A key component here is the in-vehicle Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN)-enabled computer, which can take multiple links (or connections), bond them, and enhance communications. The in-vehicle SD-WAN improves reliability, provides load balancing and seamless failover, reduces dead coverage spots, shapes traffic based on QoS, and improves bandwidth and security.

As shown in the diagram above, a mobile clinic running with a mobile SD-WAN computer (such as Lanner’s ISD-V330) has multiple links (4G, 5G, and Internet-VPN) to intelligently route traffic towards the destination (health center or cloud).

ISD-V330: The Mobile SD-WAN

The ISD-V330 is a fanless and rugged in-vehicle gateway with multi-WAN connectivity. Multi-modems are critical for deploying SD-WAN in vehicles. The ISD-V330 is mainly designed for mobile bandwidth bonding, providing secure, reliable, and mobile connectivity for mobile health units.

This in-vehicle gateway is powered by the new generation 10 nm process SoC (System-on-Chip) Intel Atom x6000E processor (codenamed Elkhart Lake). This processor delivers the required performance for vehicle needs at low power consumption.

The ISD-V330 in-vehicle computer provides robust wireless network connectivity to deliver mobile SD-WAN (multi-WAN aggregation). It comes with three PGN removable caddies (with dual SIM slots) to support 4G-LTE/5G cellular communications.

ISD-V330’s other key features:

  • IoT-enhanced CPU
  • Rich I/O peripheral connectivity.
  • Two RJ45 GbE LAN ports.
  • SATA/mSATA storage options
  • Native CAN bus
  • Environmental endurance (E13 standard and MIL-STD-810G)
  • Wide temperature range support -40 to 70°C

Benefits

The in-vehicle multi-modem appliance improves the MHU's in-vehicle-to-headquarters and cloud communications. It can intelligently route WAN traffic, so if an MHU is on the move and changing to a remote region where a particular mobile operator has better coverage, the mobile SD-WAN appliance can quickly adapt. It re-calculates link quality in terms of coverage, latency, or ping and re-routes its traffic to the highest-quality link, improving network reliability, availability, and range. 

In-vehicle mobile SD-WAN can also improve speed. First, since it can intelligently select a path, it reduces the need to backhaul the cloud-destined traffic to headquarters. If an MHU needs to access a cloud service, the traffic does not need to go through the WAN (as traditional MPLS or VPN would); instead, it uses an ISP-provided link to route traffic directly to the cloud. And second, the mobile bandwidth bonding functionality allows the in-vehicle computer to combine the speed from multiple connections and expand capabilities where bandwidth is scarce, usually in remote sites. Maximizing bandwidth helps improve speed in remote locations and reduce costs.

Other benefits?

  • Prioritize certain services. SD-WAN QoS provides traffic shaping, path control, and error correction. These components can help MHUs prioritize different online health care services.
  • Improve signal coverage. SD-WAN can intelligently route traffic. It can choose among mobile operators or service providers and swap to the one with the best signal strength.
  • Improve security. By itself, SD-WANs create an SSL encrypted tunnel between their branch (or MHUs) and headquarters. In addition, a mobile SD-WAN can also intelligent route Internet traffic through a selected encrypted VPN tunnel.
  • Provide new services. With a reliable and fast communication platform to the healthcare center, the MHU can provide services like telehealth for patients or Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality to enhance patients' experience. 

Next Steps.

For more information on the rugged in-vehicle SD-WAN platforms or the mobile SD-WAN for mobile health unit solution, please contact Lanner’s sales representative.

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ISD-V330

Rugged In-vehicle Gateway with Multi-WAN Connectivity

CPU Intel® Atom™ x6425E Processor
Chipset SoC

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