Mobile devices, or "clinical smartphones" are connecting clinicians to their care teams, and to patients and their data, providing faster more effective responses for greater patient satisfaction.
BYOD Policies are Becoming the Norm
So you've made the decision to allow your employees to bring their personal devices to work. You're in the majority! According to Honeywell, embracing this policy is a "win-win proposition."
The upside of a BYOD policy is twofold. User's are familiar with their own devices and productivity typically increases, as little to no education is required to get up and running and device acquisition costs are lower.
The downside, and it's a big one, can be comprised security if an IT policy specific to personal devices, is not put in place.
The following is an except from an Application Brief recently published by Honeywell, discussing what a BYOD policy does in terms of IT security for your company.
"To keep your organization and its data safe, consider just a few of the many problems that a BYOD policy can help you mitigate:
- A system for registering devices has to be in place; otherwise, unsecured devices might compromise your network.
- Ultimately, users will be responsible for following the rules of securing their devices. You’ll have to monitor and enforce compliance.
- Without proper safeguards, users might lose or unknowingly compromise your sensitive data, or they may introduce viruses that spread across your network.
- You’ll need ways to prevent users from removing security controls or copying sensitive data from email, calendar and contact applications to other applications on the device or to another unregistered device."
Sage advice! Included in the application brief from Honeywell is a template for creating a BYOD policy for your organization. Read the full brief.
For more information on choosing rugged or consumer devices, read our blog from February 2015
All Chargers Are Not Created Equal!
We’ve all been there . . . you need to make a call, but your phone only has one bar and there isn’t a wall plug in sight. Borrowing or swapping chargers between devices is common practice, especially for consumer devices and most of the time this is a solution that works.
Many non-iOS devices (consumer and enterprise) use micro USB ports for charging. One might assume that a standard cell phone charger and cable would suffice to charge a mobile handheld device with a larger battery, multiple radios etc. This may or may not be the case, because all chargers, nor cables, are created equal.
Though the form-factor and user interface of an enterprise handheld device is similar to a retail Smartphone, the similarities stop there. The functionality of a multi-radio mobile computer draws power at a much higher rate than a Smartphone. Add extended battery options commonly used for enterprise applications, and the amount of power required to charge an enterprise device in a reasonable time period becomes more significant.
Guidelines for Charging
Many cell phone wall chargers and 12v volt car adapters typically provide charging/operating power ranging from 5 volts @ .5 amp (500 milliamps) up to .9 amp (900 milliamps). Some are higher. USB ports on PCs, laptops and USB hubs typically provide charging/operating power at 5v @.5 amp (500 milliamps) also. Theoretically, these types of chargers would eventually charge an enterprise handheld device, but at a considerably slower rate. But if the device requires 2 or more amps and is on and “running”, the mobile device may not charge at all, even when connected to a low power charger.
Optimum charging for most enterprise handheld devices, is best at an input voltage of 5v @ 2.0 amps or higher (or as called out on the device rating plate). In addition, the USB cable should be a 28/26 or 28/24 cable to achieve the best results (faster charging times). Thin (28/28) inexpensive retail cables (28/28) may reduce the benefit of using a more powerful charging due to the wire size.
The same holds true for many of the more sophisticated SmartPhones, tablets and the like. Like enterprise mobile computers, they may require a charger that provides more amperage to achieve the fastest possible charge time. Check the power specs on your mobile device and compare it to the power specs on you wall charger. The charger should always be in the same voltage range and at an amperage output equal to or higher than the mobile device.
The Bottom Line
Consideration of battery needs and charging options is a critical part of the mobile computing solution. The time it takes to fully charge a device can be as important as the amount of active use time you get from the battery charge itself.
In the world of manufacturing and distribution there is a seemingly endless combination of facility layout, equipment, inventory, and network infrastructure that affects a good wireless implementation. That's why the importance of a site survey cannot be overstated. Read more about your options . . .