According to an updated page on their website, Philips has abandoned their "channelized" radios for a frequency hopping, bi-directional, spread-spectrum WLAN in the WMTS band. They've joined GE and Datascope with similar WLAN technology in WMTS. They couldn't resist coming up with their own name, so they're calling it "Smart-hopping Technology." From this diagram, it seems that they're using a private LAN connecting their access points to their central stations. Apparently they can bridge to the Hospital LAN at the central station or a server for HL7 connectivity.
This means that for all of you who recently upgraded your Philips Telemetry system to move to WMTS, you will need to install a new network infrastructure that duplicates the antenna system of the older channelized system if you expand your system. There is no press release or other information offering any more details at this time.
[Update] I got a nice email from a contact at Philips who said that Philips has not publicly announced their new telemetry network (although the page is still up on their site).
[Update] More info on Phiip's new wireless network. They will continue to offer their channelized radios (in the 608-614Mhz band) for traditional Telemetry deployments and international markets. The new network uses the upper 1.4Ghz WMTS band, and with greater capacity for networkd devices, is geared for hospital-wide monitoring deployments.
Philips has developed a component radio module that can be integrated into a range of monitors. The radio and APs are based on the DECT protocol (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephoney). This standard from Europe is used for private wireless phone systems, like SpectraLink phones. PMS is leveraging a core competancy in DECT technology that Philips corporate has developed. You can find an introduction to the standard here (requires registration - email me and I'll send you the .pdf). They chose DECT because, like voice, continuous monitoring requires requires low latency and virtually no dropped packets.
Leveraging DECT provides an industry standard, with associated economies of scale and robustness. However, by creating their own WMTS implementation of DECT, Philips has created a proprietary network. Change vendors and some of the network infrastructure will have to be replaced. Multi vendor coexistance at 1.4Ghz is also a question.
The radio is currently integrated into their telemetry monitors, but won't be available in multi parameter monitors until this summer. Current capacity of the network is 128 devices. This will be expanded to 512 devices by this summer, and is theortically expandable beyond 512.
Infrastructure is made up of (from the edge in) access points (APs), controllers (thin APs?) and switches. The APs are power over Ethernet (POE) where power and network connection are on the same wire.