VDI for Healthcare Mobility

The modern workforce is constantly evolving. Flexible work hours, remote working, anytime, anywhere access to corporate data, applications & resources from any device, are fast becoming baseline employee expectations. Organizations are also adapting and exploring better ways to work and collaborate, to boost employee productivity. While providing secure employee mobility is one goal, ensuring 24*7 support for always-on businesses, business continuity with minimal disruption in the event of natural calamities, or pandemics like Covid-19, are other drivers that are escalating the need for secure remote access for employees.

The highly regulated healthcare environment has very strong use cases for this. The growing popularity of mobile healthcare, increasingly mobile medical staff, remote access needs for medical transcriptionists and medical billing/coding agents, stringent legislations mandating provision of robust security & data privacy for PHI, PII and sensitive patient & clinical data, are some examples.

Constantly on the move across the facility to treat patients, medical personnel at hospitals are required to login to different desktops/terminals in the various locations, in order to access their emails, relevant data and applications. A lot of time and continuity is lost due to repeated logins and fresh user sessions each time. The disparities in device interfaces impact user experience and hence productivity, due to most users being non-technical. User sessions left open unintentionally raise security concerns. This is a very typical situation in healthcare facilities.

Let’s look at how Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – which is a type of Desktop Virtualization, is an attractive solution to this challenge.

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization is a technology that completely untethers a physical device from the desktop environment. Desktop components such as the hardware, operating system, applications, data and user persona are moved into the data center, where they are centrally managed as individual components. When a user accesses his desktop from a remote device through the network, a dynamically assembled set of these components is presented to the user as a personalized view of his desktop, called a virtual desktop. The decoupling of the user’s device from his desktop environment enables desktop access from any of his computing devices.

Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

Simplified IT Management: Centrally located & managed computing and data environment simplifies IT management, and enables tighter control over endpoint devices, easier enforcement of security and regulatory compliance and hence lesser number of IT incidents. This process efficiency reduces operational overheads and drastically reduces costs.

Enhanced Patient-Clinician Mobility & UX with Anytime, Anywhere Access: Instant access to emails, patient/clinical data and applications from any device and any location, availability of contextual data enables doctors/nurses to recommend medication, tests and provide consultation to patients and clinical staff, while on the move.

Reduced Healthcare IT Costs: Improved IT process efficiencies lead to a drastic drop in operational expenses. Desktop Virtualization shifts organizational expenditure from CapEx to the more affordable OpEx cost structure. When virtual desktops are hosted in the cloud as in Desktop as a Service (DaaS), costs are usage-based, making it very cost-effective.

Improved Patient Care: Faster and better patient care through quicker informed decisions due to instantaneous secure access to confidential healthcare data, increased productivity due to expedited processing of patient/clinical data and fast response times of EHR/EMR & other clinical applications.

Faster Disaster Recovery: This is achievable with minimal downtime since recovery does not involve rebuilding of the physical infrastructure environment. This is critical especially in the Healthcare industry where high availability of infrastructure is key, and downtime is not an option. 

Rapidly Deployable and Highly Scalable: Virtual Desktops are provisioned based on role-specific preconfigured templates, and so can be spun up quickly depending on the demand curve. They can also be destroyed just as fast when not required, saving a lot of time, effort and costs in anticipatory provisioning. Similarly, applications can also be quickly served, since they are centrally installed and controlled, lending agility to IT operations.

The abstraction and isolation of the desktop computing layers opens new possibilities of workspace delivery. Different desktop virtualization technologies address different layers of the computing environment. Some of them over the years have been: Application Virtualization, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Service-Based Computing (SBC), Client-Hosted Virtual Desktops (CHVDs), User Personalization Management (UPM), Workspace Aggregators, Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and many more. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a cloud-based service offering powered by one or more of these technologies.

VDI & DaaS have had the most innovation in recent times. VDI is a preferred choice, since it remotely delivers the image of the desktop environment that users are comfortable with. VDI provides the highest levels of abstraction & security, among the technologies. In VDI, each user gets a dedicated thick client user environment run as a virtual machine (VM), and hosted on a server in the data center. The user works on the desktop image that is sent over the network and can then interact with the files, applications and the OS, as he would in a physical desktop. The flip side to VDI is that the implementation and management needs specialized technical expertise, so it would help to use a VDI vendor who offers end-to-end service as well.

In DaaS, the virtual machines are hosted on the cloud, and so it automatically comes with all the cloud computing benefits like flexibility, faster deployment, scalability, and affordable cost structure due to usage-based pricing, & the shift towards operating expenses.

Long 80’s zDesk – A VDI Solution for Secure Virtual Desktops

zDesk, is our end-to-end integrated solution for a fully functional VDI. zDesk combines the benefits of VDI and Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) and can be hosted either on-premise or on cloud. The simplicity of the single-vendor solution enabled by hyperconverged and software-defined infrastructure technologies, defies the rapid deployability, scalability and robust security of the virtual desktops. For more information on our VDI solution, please reach out to us at inquiry@long-80.com

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