Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution aged care provider improving residents’ quality of care and quality of life with WLAN based on Meru MobileFLEX architecture

Wavelink LogoMay 29, 2013Meru Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:MERU), a leader in virtualised 802.11n Wi-Fi networks, has announced that the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI)is in the process of deploying Meru WLAN infrastructure to its 22 aged care villages located throughout New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The solution is based on the Meru MobileFLEX architecture.

“The MobileFLEX architecture, with Meru’s new Context-aware Application Layers (CALs) is one of the key reasons we chose Meru,” said Andrew Alpe, chief information officer for the RFBI. “I view the Meru network as the underpinning of everything else that we are going to deploy as an organisation. If you don’t have a solid network, you can’t deploy anything else. If it’s not reliable, you can’t run your services.”

Ben Giblett, of Schepisi Communications, who is managing the project for RFBI, completed deployment to ten facilities by May 2013. He expects to complete the rollout to all 22 RFBI residential facilities, which employ 1,200 staff and are home to 2,000 elderly residents, by the end of 2013. An estimated 1,000 access points will have been installed when the project is completed. The full deployment will be centrally managed by a four-member IT team using Meru’s E(z)RF® Network Manager solution. 

Alpe is enthusiastic about the management solution. “We are managing all sites deployed so far from a central location, and we are not experiencing any problems managing that wireless network at all,” he said. “It’s amazing that such a small group is able to manage such a large network.”

Using the MobileFLEX architecture, the RFBI will be able to unify a number of new and innovative healthcare applications via Wi-Fi. These include an electronic health record (EHR) system which is accessed via mobile devices at residents’ bedsides, and a medication management system which also relies on the Wi-Fi and is designed to save time and reduce the risk of errors.

RFBI has also introduced iPads for residents to use for communicating with friends and family. At the pilot facility where RFBI first rolled out the wireless network, residents are now using Skype in the privacy of their own rooms to communicate with relatives overseas. Alpe shared the reaction of a 100-year-old resident to the news that Wi-Fi was coming to his facility. “’Fantastic,’ he said. ‘I can join my laptop and my iPad to the network and speak to my relatives.’ It opens your mind to the possibilities when someone his age wants to do that.”

Future plans call for deployment of a real-time location system (RTLS), which will be integrated into the Wi-Fi enabled nurse call system so that residents can call for assistance anywhere within the facility. To date, this has been achievable only by pressing a wall-mounted and wired call-point, which may be out of reach to residents with limited mobility.

“RFBI has truly gone the extra mile to enhance the care and the overall quality of life of its residents through the use of Wi-Fi and the applications running over it,” said Kamal Anand, senior vice president and general manager of the healthcare business unit at Meru. “This is a great use case for the MobileFLEX architecture, and for the application of Meru’s knowledge of both the healthcare and hospitality industries.”


About Meru Networks
Meru Networks (NASDAQ: MERU) is a market leader in the development of mobile access and virtualised Wi-Fi solutions. Meru’s MobileFLEX wireless architecture addresses the ever-growing need for higher bandwidth and higher client densities. The Meru Identity Manager solution greatly simplifies secure device onboarding and the company’s unique Context-aware Application Layers (CALs) enable dedicated channel assignments for specific applications, devices and usage scenarios. Meru customers include Fortune 500 businesses as well as leaders in education, healthcare and hospitality. Founded in 2002, Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., with operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Japan. Visit or call (408) 215-5300 for more information.