The whole of the corporate sector is facing the challenge of digitalization, and hospitals are no exception. A handful of “smart hospitals” are already pioneering service delivery based on the support of AI, apps and cloud solutions. And one of them is Essen University Hospital, whose smart services are built around cloud and cyber-security solutions from VMware.
A respected smart hospital in its own right, Essen University Hospital (known by its abbreviated German name UK Essen) is committed to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. Analyzing huge volumes of data is driving continuous improvement in the care it provides. Yet the process involves gathering and evaluating highly sensitive data that naturally requires appropriate protection. Introducing VMware Cloud Foundation™ with Tanzu Kubernetes and VMware NSX® has enabled the healthcare provider to manage its data center more efficiently, reliably guard against cyber-attacks and outages, become more flexible and scalable and press ahead with the development of innovative apps.
Heightened threat of cyber-attacks
Data and IT infrastructure security considerations in particular prompted UK Essen to deploy VMware’s new services. Its IT chiefs have had to intervene repeatedly in the last 18 months to ward off cyber-attacks: “Some time ago, we had to think about how to uphold our pioneering role as a trusted smart hospital despite this kind of event,” says Armin de Greiff, Technical Director at UK Essen’s central IT department. Alongside security aspects, exponential growth in data volumes and applications also created the need for a scalable IT infrastructure.
In January 2021, UK Essen thus took the plunge and implemented VMware Cloud Foundation™ with Tanzu Kubernetes. Its aim was to harness a high-performance platform to process vast quantities of data and support the use of AI with a view to the future. At the same time, the hospital chose VMware NSX® as the cornerstone of its 360-degree security strategy.
The hospital can thus ensure a high standard of digital security and guarantee even better protection for sensitive patient data – across the entire network and on all devices. Practically all critical clinical information systems at UK Essen now run on VMware. The hospital uses over 500 different applications, many of which process personal data. All applications must provide effective security for patient data in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Digitalization and IT security in the service of patient care
The new solutions from VMware master all these challenges. UK Essen’s IT unit is far better able to cope with the huge increase in data volumes and applications. Doctors and nurses can use virtual patient dashboards to access all relevant information immediately, thereby producing faster and more accurate diagnoses and treatment schedules. Internal processes that used to be paper-based are not digitalized, which makes running the hospital so much simpler. All in all, the modern IT infrastructure from VMware enables UK Essen to manage its services more efficiently.
“Thanks to VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu Kubernetes, we can develop modern healthcare apps and extend our lead as a pioneering smart hospital. The kind of digitalized and personalized medicine everyone is calling for today would not be possible without a partner like VMware, says de Greiff, summing up. Go here to read the whole success story.