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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Oct 23 2011   9:12PM GMT

VMWare making its first step toward mobile platform virtualization



Posted by: RedaChouffani
android, Applications, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, mobile apps, Smarphone, VM, VMWare

In June of 2011, I wrote an article about how visualization will be right around the corner for mobile devices and will most likely change the way we view business mobile apps. In my article, I discussed the top 10 reasons why this would be an incredibly valuable technology to have in IT departments in health care and available to enterprise mobile users.

Fortunately, we did not have to wait too long. On Oct. 19, 2011, VMWare announced that it has partnered with Verizon Wireless to develop smartphones with dual personalities, basically developing a product suite with an Android platform that will enable a user to use their personal smartphone as their work phone. These devices will enable enterprises to efficiently manage the content of work phone “profiles” without mandate on user’s personal phone specific corporate requirements.

This simple yet powerful functionality will allow IT departments across enterprises, including health care, to securely provision and deactivate some of the application and configurations that are unique to the enterprise over the air.

This also provides a great security advantage for enterprises. The work profile or work phone is completely hosted in a central data repository, and therefore nothing is stored directly on the device itself. For health care providers and hospital CIOs, this is a significant improvement on securing and controlling access to health related apps and data. By centralizing the data and securing it, lost devices would not pose a data breach, as they do not contain actual data on them.

This is a very significant technology for the health care industry, recognizing that many physicians and HIT professionals are using iPhone or iOS based devices. We still need to see what are VMWare’s plans are for the iPhones and iPads, as Android based smartphones and tablets will be the first to receive a significant boost from this technology.

And as this is VMWare’s first product to have a major role in the mobile area, there is no doubt that there may be additional innovations coming down the road, ones which will allow for apps to run on devices across multiple platforms. Similar to the existing product called ThinApp, where you can run any application on any platform without its installation (the application runs on a central server or data center), this is another possibility that we may end up seeing in the mobile world from VMWare. Mobile ThinApp!

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