Around 1.7 million more patients in south Wales Welsh hospitals and clinics will soon be able to access free WiFi via The Cloud.
The deal will provide a free-to-use wireless networks to 18 clinics and hospitals under the Aneurin Bevan and Cwm Taf health boards for both patient and staff use.
The Cloud now provides WiFi at three of Wales’ seven health boards following last year’s rollout with the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board, as well as a trial with NWIS (North Wales Information Services).
John Hunt, head of ICT at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said the free wireless network will be overlaid onto its existing secure staff WiFi hardware by the middle of 2014.
“This means that everyone will have free internet access via their own devices without compromising the security of our existing systems,” he said.
The free WiFi network will let patients and visitors go online to browse or shop, access emails, and log-in to Facebook or any other online service.
Staff at these locations will also be able to access the network and be able to look up test results, X-Rays, MRIs and all manner of information, helping them provide a better overall service.
Vince Russell, managing director at The Cloud, said that wireless networking would be more reliable than 3G or 4G coverage, which could be patchy.
“The demand on the 3G and 4G networks is so high that they cannot provide the speeds needed to satisfy people wanting to stream video or use other online services. It’s this kind of connection users want. In the digital age, the ability to go online is a necessity not a luxury,” he said.
Last year, The Cloud implemented a similar wireless network at hospitals under the ABM (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) to provide free WiFi for patients and visitors.