Although the new Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne is already equipped with a fibre backbone, director of ICT architecture Brendan Kelly says "thank god" for the National Broadband Network (NBN).
(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)
The new 357-bed Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne was opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 26 October 2011.
The hospital has a 10-gigabit fibre backbone; 108 fibre joins the hospital with two other hospitals in the area. Kelly told journalists at CiscoLive! in Melbourne today that it was a "sparkly new facility".
"We wired it and wirelessed it to hell and back and the computing environment, and the amount of IT that has gone in there is fantastic," he said.
Yet, although the hospital itself has high capacity over the fibre built into its network, Kelly said that the NBN would play an important role in delivering care to patients.
"Thank god someone is doing the National Broadband Network," he said. "We need that thing like you wouldn't believe."
Kelly said that the Melbourne-based hospital was required to deliver healthcare to patients across Victoria, and getting high-quality medical imagery out to regional hospitals and clinicians required high-capacity broadband.
"As a state-wide service we work with other hospitals both local and regional. Our focus is ... to make the sharing of high quality and comprehensive information more available to the patient and their family."
"You don't want to be putting a high-quality image down a tiny little line, it's not going to get there. You don't want to degrade it down to consumer-grade quality," he said.
Although the hospital was keen for fibre to be rolled out across the country, it wasn't looking at using this capacity for deploying any of its services into the cloud at this point, Kelly said. According to Kelly, it was still cheaper for the hospital to invest in its own infrastructure and patients were wary of storing sensitive data in the cloud in any case.
"There's ... a public confidence issue regarding cloud and health. People actually like to know where their health data is. We've got to respect and work with that," he said.
"They have a lot of confidence in the Royal Children's Hospital to take care of their children's information."
Josh Taylor travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.