NETWORKS IN HEALTHCARE 8
Networksin health care
Networksin health care
1.The networks concept
Networkrefers to a collection of entities such as people object, etc.Therefore, network allows circulation of immaterial or materialcontents among entities based on clearly stated rules. Computernetworks refer the interconnections between two or more computer.Networking refers to an implementation of tasks and tools for thepurpose of linking computers and sharing resources over a network.Computers are connected to each other by physical lines. The type ofinformation exchanged is in form of binary values i.e. ones andzeros. There are different kinds of networks since communication isdone using different languages. The presence of various type networksalso arises since data transmitted is in different forms such aselectrical pulses, electromagnetic waves or light beams. There arealso different kinds of physical mediums applied, the twisted paircable or fiber optic cable (Dean, 2010).
Computernetworks have several distinct purposes such as sharing of resourcessuch as applications, files, and hardware and internet connections.Computer networks also enable communications through live discussionsand emails. They also enable communication between processes,especially in industrial machines. For networked databases,networking allows information access to the targeted groups ofpeople it also enables application standardization. GroupWare toolsallow people to work in groups over networks by sharing peripheralsand data thus reducing the cost significantly, they also providetimely access to data to communication and increase efficiency inorganizations.
Withthe increasing growth in population, the existing medical resourceswill not be able to satisfy the demand for healthcare in future. Dueto limited resources and the inability of patients to afford to staylong in hospital as a result of work reasons and economicconstraints, the wireless monitoring systems will be very helpful.These devices will provide real-time monitoring of patients and datatransmission over networks (Soman, 2011).
2.Type of networks
Networksfall under different categories based on the geographical distance,size, and capabilities. Each type of network provides variousservices and requires different infrastructures to work properly. Themain types of networks are local area network (LAN), wide areanetwork (WAN) and Metropolitan area network (MAN).
Localarea network is one of the earliest and simplest categories ofnetworks. LAN involves computer connections over a short distancesuch as within a building or within several buildings. Residentialhouses mostly have LAN. They often contain a single subnet controlledby one administrator or none. Connecting them to the internet is notcompulsory. LAN network in the hospitals enables access to patient`srecords by the doctor during ward rounds. It is used to providecontrol in restricted areas within the hospital such as isolationzones. Through LAN, the pharmacist can support the patients in theward with required drugs without any administration (Fong, 2010).
Widearea network is a naturally more complicated than LAN. Wan networksconnect computers over relatively huge physical distance WANremotely connects them over vast networks thus allowing communicationeven when the computers are great distances apart. The internet is anexample of WAN since it connects computers throughout the world.Through WAN networks, a surgeon can operate patients remotely withthe help of robots. WAN also enables sharing of information betweenprofessionals within the medical field. Patients and the public, ingeneral, have access to information necessary for their health fromthe internet (Fong, 2010).
Metropolitanarea network is a development of both WAN and LAN. It is smaller thanWAN but larger than LAN. MAN spans a city or town and is normallyowned by a company, a single person or the city council. Through theMAN network, a doctor can share patient information necessary forimproving the health of the patients. The city bosses can alsoeffectively manage healthcare institutions within their cities.
3.Network protocols and their purpose
Networkprotocol defines the conventions and rules for communication betweennetworking devices. It includes the mechanisms through which devicesidentifies and makes connections to one another and the formattingrules which specify the mode of the data package in the form ofmessages for both receiving and sending. Some protocols also supportdata compression and message acknowledgment.
Thecurrent protocols used in computer networking mainly use packetswitching methods for receiving and sending messages in packet form.The message is divided into slices then collected and regrouped uponreaching their destination. There has been development of manycomputer network protocols suited for the particular environment andpurposes (Cowley, 2013).
Networkprotocols give devices the capacity to understand electronic signalssent to other devices over network connections. The serve thefollowing primary functions: securely transmit data from its sourceto destination, address data to the right recipients and send andreceive messages as required. A good illustration is by looking athow the postal services handle paper emails. The postal servicesmanage letters to and from various destinations and sources similarto how network protocols keep data flowing through many paths all thetime. Additionally, network protocols provides more advancedcapabilities like delivering constant stream of messages commonlyknown as streaming and automatically makes copies of messages andbroadcast them to multiple destinations.
Thenetwork topology is a study of mapping or arrangements of networkelements such as nodes and links, particularly the logical andphysical interconnections between nodes. Local area network exhibitsboth logical and physical topology. Each of the nodes in a networkhas at least one node within the network. The mapping and arrangementof elements within a system result to certain basic topologies whichon combination forms complex topologies, the most common topologiesare star topology, mesh topology, ring topology and bus topology.
Startopology occurs where a workstation server or central node to whichall the other nodes in the network are connected directly. All thedata is transmitted via the primary node. Star topology performsbetter as compared to other topologies all the devices are isolatedand benefit from centralization. Some of the limitations for thistopology are the high system dependence on working of the centralswitch and the limited scalability and performance as a result ofreliance on the switch (Cowley, 2013).
Inthe bus topology, all the nodes are connected to the central busrunning along the whole network. Every node has a direct link to allthe nodes in the network. Transmission of information is done throughthe bus and received by any nodes connected to the network. Bustopologies are quite easy to extend and implement and uses fewerlengths of cables in comparison to star topology and thus making themcheaper than other technologies. The main limitations for thesetopologies are that a problem in one of its cable could cause failurein the whole network. The cost of maintenance is also high, and somestations and cable lengths are limited.
Forring topology, every node has a direct connection to two other nodesin the network and indirectly connects to other pairs in the network.It can be visualized as a circular arrangement. Information passesthrough one or several intermediate nodes. The topology is veryorderly, performs under dense network than star topology and createsa larger network by using ring network. The main weakness of startopology is that a malfunction in a single workstation affects thewhole system, adding or moving devices could have an impact on thenetwork and when under normal load, it is much slower than Ethernet.
Afull mesh topology happens when all nodes within the network have theseparate wire connected to each node within the network. Each deviceis provided with a point to point connection. Mesh topologies areredundant since failure in one of the links does not affectcommunication between the other nodes.
Thetype of cabling used in a network is known as the physical networkmedium. There are various cables used for networking today. Radiotransmission, copper wire and fiber optic cable are the primary mediaused for transmitting data in computer networks.
Thereare two varieties of wireless LAN architecture, infra-red modenetwork, and ad-hoc network. An ad-hoc network has applications insystems that have fewer nodes and are located closely to one another.The infrared design uses only one wireless NIC for every node(Cowley, 2013).
Theinfrared architectural mode is used mainly used in LAN. It includesat least several nodes and one wireless router. There are manyadvantages of wireless connection smaller space requirement, easy toexpand, no cabling required, multichannel transmission and widebandwidth, wide areas of connectivity compared to cable connectionsand inexpensive LAN devices. Wireless networks have the limitationtoo. They are susceptible to wave disruptions than other mediachannels and are less secure.
Fiberoptic is used mainly for high-speed networks. It can support manychannels and high rates. It is very expensive and rarely used in LAN.
Thereare many types of copper wire however, the most common ones are thecoaxial cable and the twisted pair cable. Coaxial cable has twoconductors, thin coax, and thick coax. Thick coax is a cumbersome andstiff cable and mainly used as a network backbone for a bus system.It is hard to work with and very expensive (Bagad, 2013).
Thincoax is very common. It has low impedance, very flexible andtransmits data faster than twisted pair cable. It can also supportseveral networks on the same cable but only single channels. Dues toits high attenuation rate it is quite expensive to maintain whentransmitting data over long distances. They are thus more reliablemainly in a bus topology.
Twisted-paircable is the most common type of network media. It composes of twoinsulated wires twisted around each other and ranges from a pair to4200 pairs in a cable. For unshielded twisted pair cable, every wireis insulated using a plastic wrap. But the pair is encased with anouter covering. Cat 5 the standard type for many networks (Reynolds,2012).
Bagad,V. S., & Dhotre, I. A. (2013). Computernetworks.India: Technical Publications.
Cowley,J. (2013). Communicationsand networking.London: Springer.
Dean,T. (2010). Network guide to networks.Boston, MA: Cengage Course Technology.
Fong,B., Fong, A., & Li, C. (2010). TelemedicineTechnologies: Information Technologies in Medicine and Telehea.John Wiley & Sons.
Reynolds,G. W. (2012). Ethicsin information technology.New york: Cengage learning.
Soman,A. K. (2011). Cloud-basedsolutions for healthcare IT.Enfield, NH: Science .
SystemsDesign for Remote Healthcare. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2017,fromhttps://books.google.com.ua/books?id=Jzm3BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA229&lpg=PA229&dq=Systems%2BDesign%2Bfor%2BRemote%2BHealthcare&source=bl&ots=1BXogEgwkd&sig=J6cDowEGIgMft52n3NISKXHL1jo&hl=ru&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifk42wx6fRAhVJBSwKHeqPA60Q6AEIRTAG#v=onepage&q=Systems%20Design%20for%20Remote%20Healthcare&f=false