How satellite helps maintain communications for healthcare providers

Viasat Business Internet works with Teleira to create a diverse communications system

Doctor on phone

Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images

Imagine you run a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and your IT and communications network goes down. Professionals suspect it’s a cyber-attack, but identifying the source of the problem is the least of your concerns. Right now, you need to maintain communications to take care of your patients.

This is just one of the many scenarios Viasat Business Internet partner Teleira is equipped to handle. Their service is optimized for voice and text, both proven to be the most critical in network communications failures (as in this healthcare example). In fact, the government (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) recommends healthcare providers diversify communication connections for critical and public infrastructure to avoid unnecessarily putting lives or patient private data at risk.

Satellite connectivity is an ideal way to accomplish this, since the infrastructure is truly diverse (mostly located in space) compared to local ground-based connections like fiber, cellular and cable. With just one small Viasat satellite dish on a building, Teleira can back up cellular infrastructure throughout an entire hospital. Through its solution, Teleira sets up a second SSID (Wi-Fi network) for emergency use. With the flip of a virtual switch, Wi-Fi calling is turned on and all designated calls go over satellite to maintain communications.

“We have the ability, on-the-fly, to point the traffic wherever it needs to go,” says Teleira CTO Chris Poulson. “When our TRIAD device is paired with a Viasat connection, it can support hundreds of simultaneous Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.” Through a proprietary CODEC, they maximum data compression, combining calls into a single trunk before sending it over satellite.

teleira illustration

A look at how the Teleira system uses Viasat satellite connectivity to keep communications flowing when primary services go down. Image courtesy Teleira

In these deployments, Teleira provides customers with red analog phones that integrate with their Private Branch Exchange (PBX) telephone network. These phones are used at key stations and desks in hospitals such as the ER, NICU, and ICU. Staff is trained to know that, if regular phone communications go down, the red phone will be available to help them maintain care.

Teleira’s solution is also set up to support mass communications. When a crisis occurs, every second counts. With the ability to send a mass communication, hospitals can have pre-planned messages ready for any type of emergency, such as quickly notifying healthcare staff of a dangerous situation. They can also use the system for non-emergency situations, such as sending out shift requests. These kinds of simultaneous communications aren’t easy for many systems to handle, but Teleira has found a way to make it a non-issue.

Teleira and Viasat have been partnering for several years. Through engineering collaboration, together they have been able to bring affordable and reliable business continuity services to the healthcare industry. It’s all made possible with Viasat’s nationwide high-capacity Ka-band satellite connectivity and Teleira’s full-solution management.

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