BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, JUNE 17, 2008
—Fink Engineering manufactures state-of the-art hyperbaric chambers for some of the world’s top hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, including Rochester’s Mayo Clinic and Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio but has struggled with one aspect of the design—communications. After 15 years of trial and error with various communication providers, Eric Fink, Managing Director of Australia’s Fink Engineering, finally found his answer in
CellCom10A®, Clear-ComA® Communication Systems’
digital wireless system, a brand of The Vitec Group.
The therapeutic oxygen chambers, generally used for chronically ill or severely wounded patients, are completely sealed and under extreme pressure, filled with hot and humid air, creating a less than ideal environment for electronic equipment.
“In order to conduct hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you really need people to breathe oxygen under pressure so it gets into their blood stream anywhere in between 15 to 20 times more effectively than breathing it at the surface pressure,”? explains Eric Fink, president of Fink Engineering.
The challenges, he says, are in the chamber’s steel design and complete sealed atmosphere, which create a specific communication challenge. Clear-Com’s CellCom10 stood up to the test.
“We needed a way to provide a communication link between the operators and the physicians who remain outside of the chambers to the attendants inside who are administering patient care,”? Fink continues. “The CellCom10 was the best viable solution we found. We mount the basestation with a speaker and microphone in our electrical cabinet outside the chamber. The speaker mic allows the operator to communicate with the attendants who are wearing beltpacks and headsets; they can roam outside or go inside the chamber and talk to the operators and doctors who remain outside. The ClearCom works well through the steel hull.”?
The wireless design of the CellCom10, which utilizes personal beltpacks and headsets, also helped Fink overcome another important issue, privacy. “The great challenge has been how we communicate with the attendants inside privately without having all of the other patients hear what’s going on,”? he says. “If we use a PA system, we address everyone inside the chamber at once. If you can imagine having 10 patients in a chamber, you don’t want to announce that someone’s foot isn’t looking too good. The beauty of the wireless communication system is that the doctor on the outside or the chamber can talk to the nurse attendant on the inside privately over the microphone and tell them what to look at or to do whatever therapy or administration may be needed. The unit works extremely well for this, and we are very pleased with it.”?
Clear-Com’s Application Engineer, Rom Rosenblum, helped integrate the system for Fink and said it was a test that proved the strength and stability of the CellCom10. “We had gone out to Brooks Air Force Base to test how well CellCom would work under pressure, real pressure at the equivalent of 165 feet underwater, the maximum depth a human can safely go into that hyperbaric chamber,”? he explains. “The main application for CellCom in this environment is for medical use, where the deepest it will be taken is 60 feet. This is a real acid test for the system. CellCom performed flawlessly. The antenna was mounted outside the tank, with about three-quarter inches of solid steel between the technicians inside with the beltpack. We were all very impressed.”?
Fink’s hyperbaric chambers with the CellCom10 are also installed in St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee and Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.
Note: CellComA® and FreeSpeakA® are different brands representing the same digital wireless intercom system (with minor technical differences). Due to trademark limitations, CellCom10 is only available the USA and Canada; FreeSpeak10 is available in all other countries.
Clear-ComA®, a brand of the Vitec Group, is the global leader of professional communication solutions for broadcast, live performance, military, government and commercial markets. For more than 40 years, Clear-Com’s signature products such as Encore Party-line, Eclipse Digital Matrix, CellComA®/FreeSpeakA® Digital Wireless and IP Communications systems have revolutionized broadcast stations, production trucks, houses of worship and performance venues. Recognizing Clear-Com for its history of intercom innovation, production teams around the world achieve ubiquitous communication with products to promote easy interoperability and global connectivity. More information can be found at
ABOUT THE VITEC GROUP PLC
The Vitec Group plc is acknowledged as a global leader in the supply of equipment and services to the broadcasting, entertainment and photographic industries and has established a reputation for technical excellence and superior engineering along with an astute business strategy which has seen it grow by acquisition. Innovation is a cornerstone of the Group’s activities and the organization is committed to a policy of continuous product development. With revenues (2007) of A£274m and over 2200 employees world-wide, its products are distributed in almost 100 countries, through a strong, fully-resourced distribution network or direct to the end user or corporate customer. More information can be found at