Multitone adopts ESPA-X

Multitone’s i-Message and IM-Lite communications and integration platforms now support the future-oriented network protocol ESPA-X.

Until recently, a serial standard data interface with the ESPA 4.4.4 protocol has been used for connecting nurse call systems with DECT and personal information systems, particularly in the hospital and geriatric care sector. The ESPA 4.4.4. protocol was defined by the European Selective Paging Manufacturer’s Association (ESPA) over 35 years ago and has been widely used as a communication protocol between solutions from various manufacturers.

In the recent past, however, the requirements for alerting have changed. Decentralised, geographically dispersed sites are increasingly networked using modern and structured network cabling with modern TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) based network protocols, replacing the old telephone copper cabling. Similarly, VoIP with SIP replaces the previous ISDN telephone connections. Alarm messages are increasingly routed via the alarm server in order to centralise services.

In order to meet these new requirements, an open interest group, the ESPA-X Community, consisting of manufacturers from different industries, was founded in order to adapt the previous ESPA 4.4.4 protocol to the decentralised requirements of the future and according to today’s protocol structures. Multitone is a member of the ESPA-X interest group, helping to promote the dissemination of ESPA-X, which stands for: “Enhanced Signalling Protocol for Alarm Processes – XML based”.

As indicated by the name, it is an XML-based client-server architecture on the LAN interface. With ESPA-X, a flexible communication platform can be set up that enables the manufacturers of nurse call and other alarm systems, including Multitone’s EkoTek nurse call and staff safety system, to implement a standardised protocol. As a user, the customer also benefits from guaranteed, long-term investment security.

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