Adoption of Server Hosted Virtual Desktops in Healthcare Increases 39 Percent according to Imprivata’s 2013 Desktop Virtualization Trends in Healthcare Report

Survey Finds that Cloud Computing is becoming More Prevalent in Healthcare, with 30 Percent of Respondents Indicating they use Cloud-Based Applications Today (up from Nine Percent Last Year)

VMworld (booth #216)—San Francisco, August 27, 2013—Imprivata®, a leading global provider of healthcare IT security solutions, today announced its 2013 Desktop Virtualization Trends in Healthcare report, the company’s third-annual survey about the adoption rates and benefits of desktop virtualization and cloud-based applications in healthcare. According to the study, the proliferation of desktop virtualization in healthcare continues to increase, with the use of Server Hosted Virtual Desktops (SHVD) up 39 percent and the use of Server Based Computing (SBC) up 23 percent from last year’s survey. The study also indicates that a mixed use of both SBC and SHVD is becoming more commonplace, with 49 percent of respondents indicating that they are using both technologies today (compared with 23 percent from the 2012 survey).

In addition to desktop virtualization, the Imprivata survey also asked healthcare organizations about current and planned adoption of cloud computing. The results indicate that the adoption of cloud-based applications and services is increasing more rapidly than expected, with 30 percent of survey respondents stating that they use cloud computing today (up from nine percent from the 2012 survey). In particular, storing protected health information (PHI) in the cloud is becoming more commonplace, with 40 percent of respondents that use cloud services indicating that they store PHI in the cloud today (up from nine percent from the 2012 survey).

Additional key findings from the 2013 survey include:

  • Desktop virtualization continues to be prevalent in healthcare, with 75 percent of respondents using SBC today and 57 percent using SHVD today. Compared to the 2012 survey, SBC usage increased 23 percent and SHVD usage increased 39 percent, which is in-line with the 2012 12-month forecast.
  • A mixed use of both SBC and SHVD is becoming more commonplace, with 49 percent of respondents indicating that they are using both technologies today (compared with 23 percent from last year’s survey).
  • Organizations are using a variety of different endpoint devices for SBC and SHVD, with adoption rates of thin and zero clients increasing rapidly and tablets and smartphones as endpoint devices in virtual desktop environments quickly emerging.
  • The combined use of single sign-on (SSO) and strong authentication technology in both SBC and SHVD environments is increasing, with 45 percent of organizations using SBC today indicating that they use SSO and strong authentication and 48 percent using SHVD today stating that they use both technologies.
  • Of those respondents able to quantify the time savings of using SSO and/or strong authentication in their SHVD environments, 31 percent said each of their users saves more than 15 minutes per day.
  • While the use of cloud-based services and applications in healthcare is increasing, 71 percent of healthcare organizations currently using cloud computing work with just one or two vendors.
  • Despite working with a limited number of vendors, 16 percent of healthcare respondents using cloud computing services today do not have HIPAA Business Associate Agreements in place with all of their vendors.
  • For healthcare organizations that have no plans to adopt cloud computing, security remains the primary reason, but 17 percent cite the primary reason as “cloud services vendors do not offer HIPAA Business Associate Agreements.”


A total of 211 IT decision makers in the U.S. healthcare industry were surveyed to understand their adoption rates and reasons for deploying desktop virtualization as well as could computing services. Responses were collected from a variety of different types of healthcare organizations as well as a mix of different size organizations, based on number of beds.

Supporting Customer and Analyst Quotes

Aivars Apsite, technology strategist, Metro Health Hospital (Wyoming, Mich.)

“The results of this survey come as no surprise—We consider desktop virtualization to be a must-have within our hospital because it enables clinicians access the applications and information they need at the point of care, allowing them to remain focused on the patient. Not only does this have significant benefits to improving workflow efficiency and allowing more time for patient care, but it has a considerable economic impact—we estimate that our virtualized desktop environment supported by the fast, secure No Click Access® enabled by Imprivata saves us more than $2.3 million annually.”

Bruce Hall, CIO, Augusta Health (Fishersville, Va.)

“There are considerable advantages to using virtualized desktops, perhaps the most important of which is the ability to give clinicians seamless access to their roaming sessions as they move throughout the hospital. The ability to quickly and securely access their desktop from any endpoint allows them to remain focused on delivering high-quality patient care. Desktop virtualization is and will continue to be an integral component to our long-term IT strategy, which, as the results of Imprivata’s survey reveal, is a sentiment that rings true across the healthcare industry.”

Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst, virtualization and the cloud, Aberdeen Group

“The Imprivata data shows a growing interest in the use of thin client devices for accessing virtualized desktops. At Aberdeen, we have seen similar trends and long highlighted the use of thin clients to simplify server hosted virtualized desktops, lighten the load on the networks and simplify the management for IT.”

About Imprivata

Imprivata is a leading global provider of healthcare IT solutions that enable fast, secure and more efficient clinical access, communication and collaboration. Independently recognized as an innovator and market leader, Imprivata helps millions of providers worldwide simplify technology to better focus on patient care. For more information, please visit

Connect with Imprivata:
Imprivata’s corporate blog

All Imprivata products are trademarks of Imprivata, Inc. in the USA and other countries. All other product or company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.


# # #