Mutualink: More real-time communication needed in Ebola response

Mutualink said Ebola response efforts require a solid real-time communications network. | Courtesy of Mutualink

Mutualink released a whitepaper on Monday that attempts to connect hospital emergency managers and government agencies more efficiently with information related to dealing with the Ebola virus.

The whitepaper envisions a secure and real-time information network between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Patrol; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and local, state and federal health care agencies working to identify those with Ebola and slow the spread of the virus.

The paper said that while there has been progress in screening individuals coming into the U.S., more can be done to “tighten the gaps” in communication and preparedness.

“Inter-agency, cross-jurisdictional, real-time collaboration will serve to enhance situational awareness among and between agencies involved in identifying, tracking and treating infected patients, regardless of where they enter the cycle,” the paper said.

The paper described the Infectious Disease Real-Time Detection and Response Network (i2DR) and how the network will speed up communication between health care providers and federal agencies.

“Hospitals have made considerable improvements with regard to emergency preparedness over the last few years, but epidemics like Ebola present complex communication challenges," security expert Patrick Fiel said. "Hospital emergency managers would do well to look to Mutualink for interoperable communications – not just during crises, but for everyday use.”