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Analyzing the expansion of healthcare desktop virtualization

Brian Madden, a desktop virtualization and enterprise mobility management expert, believes all the pressures that come with the "bring your own" trend in professional settings apply to the healthcare industry. This is because physicians are generally tech-savvy people that want to keep up with their peers when it comes to device usage.

Madden touches on his background as a desktop support engineer and shares that most of his experience is with Windows applications. Now, many physicians are operating iPads and other Apple devices in medical facilities, something IT departments aren't always prepared for. This is where healthcare desktop virtualization comes in because it lets applications run in an organization's data center, and users can access them from any of their devices.

Healthcare desktop virtualization also untangles HIPAA compliance in that it keeps data and applications stored in data centers, not on the individual devices that access the data. So, if an employee device is lost or stolen, no protected health information will be exposed.

Thin clients aren't worth stealing from healthcare facilities because they don't contain valuable data and replacing them is as simple as plugging in a new one.

He also relays that some companies are offering healthcare add-ons to existing desktop virtualization software from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. An example of a healthcare desktop virtualization feature are terminals that know which room they are located in and can pull up the record of the patient in that room when a user logs in to that terminal.

Healthcare desktop virtualization also discourages theft, particularly when thin clients are being used. Thin clients aren't worth stealing from healthcare facilities because they don't contain valuable data and replacing them is as simple as plugging in a new one.

Another benefit of healthcare desktop virtualization is its reliance on applications. Desktop virtualization supports apps running on different devices and doesn't lock users into using a legacy system.

Madden also explains that desktop virtualization eliminates any access issues tied to geographic location by saying that logging on via desktop virtualization is the same whether the user is in a different country or inside the medical facility. Lastly, he points out that desktop virtualization has been successful as a technology, and its past track record should encourage future deployments.

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