Mobile health – The evolution of healthcare IT

Mobile healtMobile health h: The connected care model

Healthcare has lagged behind other industries when it comes to embracing the cloud. Compliance issues, security apprehensions, and legacy infrastructure have historically hindered the healthcare industry’s adoption of virtualization. However, the situation is changing as mobile health care becomes a top priority. Interestingly, the healthcare industry, which is valued at $2.8 billion, has emerged as one of the leading adopters of desktop virtualization in recent years. According to an Imprivata report, the adoption of VDI in healthcare was at 35% in 2011. This number increased to 52% by 2014. Imprivata predicts that the VDI adoption in healthcare will reach 65% by the end of 2016.

Factors driving the adoption of VDI in healthcare

In today’s digital world, there are several healthcare organizations that are still using paper medical records. Although some organizations have digitalized their medical records, there often is still no central management of resources, resulting in siloed environments. Because the healthcare industry deals with emergency cases, physicians require immediate access to patient records, which is not always possible when doctors are out of the office.

Moreover, healthcare networks are comprised of a variety of devices that include servers, MRI/CT scanners, storage systems, and an array of medical equipment. This diverse environment could hinder proper communication between various departments.

Additionally, government regulations obligate healthcare organizations to implement strict IT policies in order to safeguard patient data. According to a Ponemon Institute 2016 report, the healthcare industry has lost $6.2 billion on data breaches in the last two years, with each data breach resulting in an average loss of $2.2 million. Electronic medical records are the most commonly compromised data, followed by insurance records and patient payment details. HIPAA and PACs compliance has become mandatory for most healthcare institutions.

The consumerization of IT with the wide adoption of smart devices for private and professional use creates challenges and opportunities for healthcare organizations.  In fact, while the use of mobile devices increases medical staff productivity, it creates severe data security challenges for IT managers.

Another major challenge for healthcare organizations is to continue the use of legacy software that’s not always compatible with the latest Windows OS. For instance, the organization’s staff may need to use software developed for Windows XP, but the IT department can’t risk using an unsupported OS. Likewise, healthcare organizations often want to provide access to legacy applications on multiple platforms, such as mobile devices, tablets, and workstations.

Mobile healthHow does VDI address these challenges?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) involves hosting an operating system on a virtual machine that is running on a centralized server. By centrally hosting resources, organizations can provide 24/7 availability of their applications and desktops while securely publishing these resources to any device. This facilitates on-demand access to all resources anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Doctors, nurses, and administrative staff and are able to have constant and reliable access to their resources from any location,  no matter the device  in use.

Furthermore, VDI networks enable healthcare organizations to efficiently manage every type of device in the network. Whether employees use a laptop, smartphone, or thin client, the environment can be easily monitored and managed from a centralized location.

VDI also makes mobile health solutions a reality. Any staff member can access central resources using any device from any location. This provides a significant advantage when treating emergency cases where immediate remote access can save lives.

Another critical benefit of VDI is that it enables healthcare organizations to become HIPAA and PACs compliant by increasing data security management and monitoring access for patient records from a secured central location.

Finally, VDI extends the lifespan of legacy applications, allowing organizations to  upgrade to the latest OS versions at their own pace.

Why is Parallels RAS  a great VDI solution for healthcare organizations?

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS), VMware Horizon, and Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp)/ Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop) are three leading VDI solutions that make mobile health a reality.

While Citrix and VMware have a recognized and affirmed position in the market, they come at a significant cost. Moreover, Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) and Horizon require the installation of multiple components that take significant time and effort. With shrinking IT budgets and staff, many healthcare organizations have neither the budget nor bandwidth to configure and manage these solutions.

Parallels RAS offers a VDI solution that perfectly suits mobile health needs. This comprehensive virtualization solution is easy to deploy and use. It offers all the required components out of the box, with configuration wizards speeding up the deployment process.

With Parallels RAS, healthcare organizations can centrally host resources and securely publish them on demand to any remote device, including iOS, Android,  Mac, Windows and Chromebook. The centralized database improves security by restricting and monitoring access to shared resources.  Another important advantage of Parallels RAS is the support for legacy hardware, which enables you to upgrade your infrastructure at your own pace without worrying about Microsoft EOL announcements. What’s more, when compared to Citrix or VMware, Parallels RAS is a far more cost-effective application delivery solution.

Mobile health enhanced with Parallels RAS

Parallels RAS provides one of the best mobile experiences in the industry, empowering employees with access to desktop applications, files, and work resources as if they were native applications on iOS and Android devices. Using Parallels Client for iOS and Android, doctors, nurses, and staff can use the native touch gestures they already know, such as swipe, drag, tap to click or zoom with any Windows applications on their smartphone or tablet.

Parallels RAS Free Trial Click here to download and install.


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