Thin and Zero Client Vendors; Helping the Healthcare Industry Win the Tech Revolution!

David Ting
Oct 15, 2012

I love any opportunity to recognize the healthcare industry for its technology prowess! After years of being viewed as a laggard by the pundits, we are leapfrogging tech-savvy industries like finance, retail and manufacturing with innovations that increase productivity and improve the quality of care for populations around the world.  Tremendous progress has been made already, and we have only begun to scratch the surface on technology advances in our industry.  The proliferation of smart phones, ubiquity of the internet and bandwidth of the cloud are just a few of the developments that are changing the healthcare game.  For a techy like me, it warms my heart when I see innovative vendors stepping up to apply their inventions in such a meaningful way.   

EHRs have come into the limelight to streamline the way clinicians interact and use patient information. And in the same way that CAD/CAM systems transformed manufacturing, as they mature, EHR systems are quickly moving beyond their initial function as electronic filing cabinets. Now we are seeing them perform as intelligent tools that can have a real impact on efficiency and patient care.  As records have become digitized, powerful analytics are emerging to help predict outcomes, improve treatment plans and minimize the time patients spend in hospitals.

Yet, healthcare is far too complex and unique to be adequately addressed in a monolithic approach by EHR vendors alone. This was exemplified clearly with the unprecedented announcement that EPIC would team with Surescripts to allow physicians to send and receive clinical information with peers, between practices and across EHRs.  Technology companies with specialized expertise are pushing the envelopes in their domains.  Yet, still silos are still being created.  The key is something rarely seen in healthcare until now - integration. 

Internationally, software vendors and manufacturers are quickly seeing the value of working together to form an ecosystem that integrates their solutions in order to support new features that help healthcare organizations deliver the right care to the right patient in the right place at the right time, while optimizing on quality and cost goals. Perhaps the most profound example we have seen comes from the thin and zero client manufacturers.  According to a recent survey, the healthcare industry’s swift adoption of desktop virtualization is expected to grow by 44% in 2013.  Not surprising, given that no other industry has the relentless demand for around-the-clock access in a security environment that, in some instances, offers little to no delineation between public and private space.

The efficiency that thin and zero clients deliver has direct benefits for IT and care providers alike in terms of reduced hardware and maintenance costs, energy savings, clinician productivity and fast access to critical data at any endpoint.  Patients benefit when doctors and nurses can spend more time at the bedside or exam room, instead of chasing data around the hospital.  Yet the huge value thin and zero clients bring to our highly mobile workforces can be somewhat offset by the need for secure access at the endpoint, without slowing workflows.

Over the course of nearly 10 years, we have secured patient data without slowing workflows for more than 1300 hospitals.  So a year ago, we decided to create the Imprivata Developer Program (IDP) in order to enable third-party vendors to integrate our area of expertise with their areas of expertise.  Through a family of application programming interfaces (API) and software called OneSign ProveID, we are making it easy for software and hardware vendors to integrate No Click Access®into their solutions.  We recently took another step towards authentication proliferation in healthcare when we announced our work with Texas Instruments to integrate TI’s DM8148 system-on-chip (SoC) with OneSign to enable manufacturers to provide out-of-the-box strong user authentication into any software application delivered via a thin- or zero-client endpoint.  Not only does this mean fast, secure access from any endpoint, it gives hospitals the reassurance that technology investments will provide long-term value and simplified management.

If you are headed to Citrix Synergy Barcelona this week, be sure to check out our IDP partner stands to see their thin and zero client solutions in action.  And don’t forget to stop by Imprivata stand #410. 

HP Stand #207
IGEL Technology GmbH Stand #401
NComputing Stand #202
Praim Stand #411
Samsung Electronics Co Stand #208.

Hats off to these partners for raising the innovation bar in healthcare one more time!  Together we are enabling healthcare securely.