Health IT and Electronic Health Activate your FREE membership today |  Log-in

Community Blog

Sep 9 2011   11:30AM GMT

Top five trends in health care virtualization at VMworld 2011

Posted by: Jenny Laurello
Desktop virtualization, Virtualization and cloud computing, VMware, VMworld 2011

Guest post by: Ed Gaudet, CMO, Imprivata

The momentum at VMworld 2011 continued to build all week, and a raging party featuring The Killers appeared to only stoke the enthusiasm, even as the conference drew to a close on Thursday afternoon.  Despite a late night of great food, music and drink, the crowds turned out in force on Thursday – the last and traditionally slowest day, for any conference. 

Inspired by the real-world experience shared in the 14 health care-focused panels and sessions, there was a steady stream of hospital IT professionals visiting booths – even after the show had technically closed – in search of virtualization solutions for their hospital. From secure and convenient access to PHI, to roaming desktops on zero client devices from vendors such as Teradici, Dell, Wyse and Samsung, it is clear that the health care market is embracing the “post PC era” and the value proposition of delivering access to PHI, when and where clinicians need it, securely.

So what were the big trends for health care virtualization?

  1. 1. HITECH Act and meaningful use are still number one: Too obvious? Well yes, but it is what’s fueling IT investments such as virtualization. As hospitals automate their manual, paper-based processes, IT leaders are taking the opportunity to rethink their server and desktop infrastructure strategies. Front and center to this are those technologies that make measurable difference in improving clinician workflows.  IT vendors are actively adding functionality to their products driven by this specific health care requirement.
    2. Year of the iPad: Health care has traditionally been a slow adopter of new technology; over the last few years, this has changed. The consumerization of IT has CIOs scrambling to deal with the demand of iPads, iPhones, Androids and other personal devices brought in to the hospital by a technology-comfortable physician. We saw an unprecedented response from an industry that was apparently resisting the change from paper to electronic, now wanting everything on the latest and coolest devices
    3. HIPAA – HIPAA has grown teeth: Data leaks are big news and high profile at the moment. Regular stories of large companies being hacked and data being stolen abound. In health care, data breaches of more than 500 patients records have to be declared publicly and no CIO wants to be making those apologies live on Fox News or CNBC.
    4. Desktop Virtualization Maturity: Desktop virtualization had run into some early problems in health care. A low resolution image of a MRI scan isn’t good enough in this environment. Inability to support a bar code scanner or an imaging device can’t really be worked around. The last year has seen a great deal of development in these areas. Medical imaging has certainly been a driving use case in improvements of graphics rendering for the virtualization vendors. USB device support has improved, with a number of successful deployments that justify desktop virtualization as a viable solution.
    5. Finally, a trend that we’ve seen for some time in the enterprise market is now on a dramatic rise in health care – Consolidation. Physician practices are merging into multispecialty clinics.  Many hospitals are buying practices, or looking for innovative ways to provide services that allow practices to improve patient care by applying the latest technologies, without having to worry about implementation and management.

While it’s in its early days, desktop virtualization is leading the way in solving many of the problems that clinicians faced with the old PC paradigm, from reducing costs in the data center to providing secure, always on point of care access to a clinician’s workstation. Of course, this ubiquity of access brings its own challenges, which is where leading Health care IT vendors such as Imprivata have helped over 900 health care providers worldwide and why No Click Access was demoed across VMworld stands such as VMware, Teradici, Dell, Samsung, VCE and EMC.

So what about the next big thing? What about the cloud? The feeling this year was health care is still three years away from public cloud adoption. Are you seeing the same thing in your hospital? Do the VMworld trends match your IT priorities over the next 12 months? I’d love to hear your comments…


For more information, please visit

Comment on this Post

Leave a comment:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: