Just as the workplace has shifted from office buildings to wherever the worker is, healthcare has shifted from hospitals to wherever the patients and caregivers are. This “new normal” is causing IT headaches across all industries. While healthcare has its own IT challenges, it shares these challenges with many verticals. Some of these obstacles include:
- Users, applications, and devices are more distributed than ever. This can make it difficult to get fast access to cloud-based applications, including electronic medical records (EMR) systems.
- This distribution — and the variety of devices connecting to the network, including an increasing number of IoT devices — increases the potential attack surface, leaving endpoints more vulnerable. Stricter healthcare regulations make it all the more important to secure every network access point.
- Without the benefit of a robust hospital or enterprise network, end users have to make do with whatever network connection they can get. Rural areas often lack any kind of broadband connection. Doctors’ offices sometimes must support multiple telehealth sessions at once, making quality of service (QoS) a real challenge.
- For network service providers, decentralization presents challenges around vendor management, service integration, help desk and incident resolution, capacity and performance management, device management and access control, and release management.
With so many people working, schooling and now getting healthcare from wherever they are, the network challenges only multiply. Healthcare organizations face increasingly complex trade-offs that will require the right investment decisions across caregivers and staff, processes, and technology. Managing these trade-offs, especially as the speed of disruption and the complexity of technology increase, requires a re-think of IT architecture.
Healthcare entities need an architecture that enables rapid transformation without requiring wholesale disruption —because downtime isn’t acceptable when you’re taking care of people.
How SD-WAN and SASE Help Healthcare Networks
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) helps healthcare networks make the most of their existing infrastructure. As an overlay technology, SD-WAN aggregates and speeds existing connections to improve access and connectivity. The ability to use any kind of connection, even cellular, allows fast, reliable connectivity for temporary healthcare sites such as mobile clinics or pop-up COVID-19 testing sites.
SD-WAN segments network traffic from end to end. This keeps PCI-compliant payment data separate from EMR data, for example. For a physician working from home, network segmentation can not only separate data to comply with healthcare and data-protection regulations, it can keep personal network traffic separate from work traffic. This allows the network to prioritize and allocate more bandwidth to a telemedicine call over a kid’s video game usage.
Secure access service edge (SASE), an evolution of SD-WAN, brings robust security and cloud services to the network edge. VMware’s SASE implementation, the VMware SASE Platform™, brings together industry-leading cloud networking and cloud security to deliver flexibility, agility, protection, and scale for enterprises of all sizes. VMware’s SASE points of presence (PoPs) are strategically distributed around the world and serve as an on-ramp to software as-a-service (SaaS) and other cloud services, including cloud-based EMR.
For security at the edge, VMware employs the principal of zero trust. This approach assumes that no device, person, network, or packet is trustworthy, and grants access to small segments of the network at a time only to users who confirm their authorization. VMware Secure Access™, part of VMware SASE Platform, combines industry-leading VMware SD-WAN™ and VMware Workspace ONE to extend the same onsite-like experience to remote mobile users. This allows only trusted devices and users to access applications hosted on-premises or in the cloud, not only hardening network security but strengthening compliance with healthcare regulations.
Join Our Webinar with Hughes
Hughes and VMware are presenting a joint webinar, Ubiquitous Healthcare Delivery: Get Your Network Ready for the Paradigm Shift. Join us on October 13 to learn more about how to solve new and upcoming healthcare IT challenges with SD-WAN and SASE.
Learn More about SD-WAN and Healthcare
Network downtime isn’t acceptable when you’re taking care of people. Learn how VMware SD-WAN and VMware Edge Network Intelligence help medical teams provide world-class patient care anytime, anywhere.
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