Customer Success Story
Telehealth improves care for the Alaskan people.
Alaska Communications’ telehealth network facilitates emergency services, advanced diagnostics, and mental health services for people living in villages and the bush.
|Products used||MX80, SRX Series, MX5|
Provides emergency services and specialized medical treatments to Alaskans in rural areas
Improved the success rate and reduced costs for treating patients with chronic illnesses
In Alaska, urgent care and regular checkups are complicated by harsh weather and vast distances. To close that gap, Alaska Communications built a secure medical network with Juniper as the foundation, allowing more than two dozen healthcare providers to provide care for patients in remote locations.
“In Alaska, telehealth is not a word,” says Colin Underwood, healthcare program manager at Alaska Communications. “It’s just the way healthcare is done here.” Building a network in Alaska means overcoming mountains, rivers, permafrost, and subzero temperatures. The construction and maintenance season is short, and crews have to watch out for bears, wolves, and other wildlife. But those hardships haven’t stopped the team at Alaska Communications from transforming the way healthcare is delivered in their state.
Alaska Communications chose Juniper’s MX Series Universal Routing Platforms for its private healthcare network, based on its long history of using Juniper routing in its core network that delivers broadband and IT managed services across the state. “Juniper was a natural choice for our private medical network,” says Underwood. Expertise in Junos operating system enabled the team to build the network faster and simplify operations.
The network delivers fast, reliable, secure connectivity to healthcare providers and partners, with a core network uptime of 99.9999%. Capabilities like IP/MPLS, quality of service, and guaranteed service-level agreements extend from the core to the edge, right into the healthcare providers’ facilities, making it easier to deliver consistently high-quality services to customers.
A Juniper network affords a high degree of flexibility, making it easier for Alaska Communications to adapt its network to the individual performance, availability, and security requirements of its healthcare customers. “We listen to our customers, understand their needs, and deliver a unique solution for each,” says Underwood. “With a Juniper infrastructure, we can finetune our network to meet each customer’s needs, and that’s really where we differentiate ourselves.”
“Before telehealth, people had long delays in healthcare,” says Underwood. “Things were done by mail, phone, or fax. People had to wait for a rotating physician or nurse to come through the village.”
Now, with the Alaska Communications network, healthcare providers can provide emergency services in rural areas and the bush at levels that simply were not possible before. High-speed broadband has reduced the cost of and improved the success rate for treating patients with chronic illnesses.
Now, with the Alaska Communications network, healthcare providers can provide emergency services, advanced diagnostics, specialized medical treatments, palliative care, and mental healthcare to people in rural areas and the bush at levels that simply were not possible before. High-speed broadband has reduced the cost of and improved the success rate for treating patients with chronic illnesses
More than 500 miles away, broadband has had a major impact at Sitka Community Hospital. Medical images can be transmitted faster, shaving the time it takes a radiologist to read a scan and return a diagnosis to a physician. “With the Juniper network connecting the hospital and radiology provider, that image can be sent in two minutes now”. “Imagine all of the services that are available to you in one building when you go to your doctor’s office,” says Underwood. With technology continually advancing and the need for high-speed broadband ever-growing, Alaska Communications continues to innovate to push the boundaries of delivering reliable connectivity under some of the harshest conditions in the world.
Published October 2018