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Latest White Papers

Testing Wi-Fi Functionality in Medical Devices
Applications on many medical devices require secure and persistent network connections. Hospitals present challenges to reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. To ensure reliable functionality, a Wi-Fi radio that is embedded in a medical device must be tested thoroughly. But where, and how?
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Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready
Present in nearly all wireless phones and an ever-growing number of wireless devices, Bluetooth technology has become an exceptional performer for audio and data transmission. Bluetooth 4.0 introduces Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), a new protocol that allows for long-term operation of Bluetooth devices in low-volume data transmission. BLE enables smaller form factors, better power optimization, and power cells that last for years on a single charge.
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Understanding Range in RF Devices
Understanding how environmental factors can affect range is one of the key aspects to developing a radio frequency (RF) solution. This paper will provide a high-level overview of the factors that can affect RF range, including hardware selection, environmental factors, frequency ranges, and proper implementation.
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Medical and Healthcare Related Topics

802.11n for Medical Devices
With throughput much greater than that available with previous wireless local area networking (WLAN) standards, the IEEE 802.11n standard has had a significant impact on the WLAN, or Wi-Fi, industry. Most of today’s WLAN infrastructure products support 802.11n, and support on client devices is growing.
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Cisco Compatible Extensions and Medical Devices
Hospitals rely on medical devices for patient care and patient safety. When a medical device is designed to connect to a wireless LAN, the Wi-Fi radio in that device must provide a reliable network connection. IEEE and industry standards define how a Wi-Fi radio interoperates with a wireless LAN infrastructure, and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED seal ensures interoperability. For many hospitals, however, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED is not enough. These hospitals need assurance that their medical devices have been tested to interoperate with a Cisco wireless LAN infrastructure and support Cisco wireless LAN innovations for enhanced security, mobility, quality of service, and network management. The Cisco Compatible seal gives hospitals the assurance that they seek.
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Optimizing the 5 GHz Band in a Hospital
As the traditional 2.4 GHz operating band for Wi-Fi becomes more crowded, network administrators increasingly look to the less crowded 5 GHz operating band to improve or maintain network performance and reliability. The 5 GHz band is especially attractive in hospitals, where the 2.4 GHz band often is overcrowded. But hospitals present challenges to reliable connectivity in both bands. This document contrasts the key physical, regulatory, and interference characteristics of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and how these characteristics impact critical Wi-Fi operational aspects such as performance and reliability. The document also provides recommendations for optimal dual-band deployments in hospitals.
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Wi-Fi® Mobility in Hospitals
In today’s hospitals, computing devices and, increasingly, medical devices need to connect to hospital networks without having to “plug in” to wired, or Ethernet, network ports. Wi-Fi is a popular choice for wireless network connections. A mobile device needs to stay connected to a Wi-Fi network as that device moves throughout the area for which Wi-Fi access is provided. When a device's connection to its current infrastructure endpoint, or access point (AP), becomes tenuous, then the device must move, or roam, to an AP that offers a better connection.
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Wi-Fi® Client Device Security & HIPAA Compliance
Even though Wi-Fi offers many potential benefits, a hospital will not rely on Wi-Fi unless the hospital has confidence that its Wi-Fi networks and devices will protect sensitive information, including electronic medical records (EMRs), that are transmitted over Wi-Fi or stored on networks that can be accessed through Wi-Fi. Hospitals have that confidence when their Wi-Fi networks and devices are compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
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Security Related Topics

FIPS 140-2 and Wi-Fi Client Devices
FIPS 140-2 defines the U.S. federal government standard for modules that protect sensitive but unclassified information through cryptography, or encryption and decryption. Even though FIPS 140-2 is for the federal government, many enterprises and other non-governmental organizations are interested in FIPS 140-2 because it is a robust and well-defined standard for security. Given the many threats to Wi-Fi® security that exist, requiring FIPS 140-2 validation for Wi-Fi client devices may not be a bad idea.
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Wi-Fi Security and PCI DSS
For most of today's retailers, solid Wi-Fi client device security is essential for compliance with the latest version of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), version 1.2. Such security can be achieved by following three best practices identified in the paper:  

  • Ensure that a Wi-Fi client device can gain access to your wireless LANs (WLANs) only using WPA2-Enterprise with a strong EAP type.
  • Configure every trusted Wi-Fi client device to connect only to trusted APs.
  • Use ongoing monitoring to demonstrate the effectiveness of your WLAN security approach.
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802.11n, 5 GHz, and Bluetooth Related Topics

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Coexistence
Bluetooth is a wireless technology designed for short-range wireless connections between devices in a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). 802.11-compliant Wi-Fi technology connects devices and an infrastructure in a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Bluetooth and Wi-Fi transmit in different ways using differing protocols; because Bluetooth and 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n-compliant devices operate in the same 2.4 GHz frequency band, they are mutual interferers. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios often operate in the same physical area and many times in the same device; this interference can impact the performance and reliability of both wireless interfaces. Several methods of interference mitigation through temporal, special, and frequency isolation have been developed and are described in this document.
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IEEE 802.11n
Boasting throughput 10 times greater than that available with previous wireless LAN (WLAN) standards, the IEEE 802.11n standard is the buzz of the Wi-Fi industry, and Wi-Fi infrastructure vendors are promoting little but their latest 802.11n products. The great performance of 802.11n is the result of enhancements that also yield improved quality of service, greater range, and improved predictability of coverage. When you deploy 802.11n infrastructure, all 802.11n benefits except greater throughput accrue to client devices that use pre-802.11n radios. Because business-critical mobile devices such as mobile computers and medical devices run primarily data applications and not multimedia applications, those devices tend to have relatively modest throughput requirements. The primary benefit of deploying 802.11n on those devices will be to enable other devices, such as laptops, to gain the full throughput benefits of 802.11n.
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Optimizing Operation at 5 GHz
The 5 GHz operating band presents greater challenges to networking professionals than does the 2.4 GHz band in areas such as range and mobility. The 5 GHz band is attractive, however, because it offers greater network capacity and relatively uncluttered airwaves. The need to incorporate 5 GHz operation into industrial Wi-Fi networks will increase over time as the 2.4 GHz band becomes more overused by a variety of devices.
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Other Wireless Related Topics

Cisco Compatible Extensions
IEEE and industry standards define how a Wi-Fi radio interoperates with a wireless LAN infrastructure, and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal ensures interoperability. For many organizations that rely on mobile devices, however, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED is not enough. These organizations need assurance that their mobile devices will interoperate with a Cisco wireless LAN (WLAN) infrastructure and support Cisco WLAN innovations for enhanced security, mobility, quality of service, and network management. The Cisco Compatible seal, earned through the Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) program, gives organizations the assurance that they seek. Because the CCX specification is a superset of that used for Wi-Fi certification, CCX encompasses standards in addition to Cisco innovations.
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