Fredericton hospital pilots free Wi-Fi project
Horizon Health and five of its hospital foundations plan to launch free Wi-Fi in more hospitals in the spring
People will, however, still have to shut off their devices in areas where patients are being monitored.
Hospitals across the country are struggling with the influx of wireless devices, from the public and staff.
"We know that the risk with newer technologies is certainly decreasing, however it is not risk free. Hence the reason why we have certainly erred on the side of caution," he said.
The Canadian Agency for Drug and Technologies in Health reviewed over 100 post-2009 studies on the effects of wireless devices in hospitals.
The agency's chief exective officer, Brian O'Rourke says there was some interference with medical equipment.
"It could be anything from an alarm that goes off, a false alarm, some distortion on the screen of one of the medical instruments. Occasionally, there were stoppages of the equipment," said O'Rourke.
However he says there was no evidence of harm to any patients as a result.
O'Rourke says manufacturers are shielding their machines better, but it's impossible to test every machine in the hospital. He agrees with Horizon Health's approach.
Horizon Health Network and five of its hospital foundations plan to launch free Wi–Fi accessibility in more hospitals in the spring.