Health Care Industry Early-Adopters of Virtual Desktops
Imprivata, a provider of access-management tools, has released the results of a survey showing health care poised to take the lead in desktop virtualization adoption in the next 12 months.
For the report called "2011 Virtualization Trends in Healthcare," researchers interviewed 477 IT managers in multiple industries, including health care and financial services. Health care had 363 respondents.
Of health care respondents, 35 percent were using desktop virtualization and 43 percent anticipate more than half of their users employing the technology in the next year. About 40 percent of respondents in financial services expect half of their users to adopt desktop virtualization in the same time frame.
Meanwhile, 39 percent of health care respondents were interested in remote access, 27 percent in desktop manageability and 14 percent in user desktop roaming.
In contrast, only 15 percent of health care respondents planned to adopt server virtualization within the next three years.
Virtualization and access management are major tools for health care IT in 2011, according to analysts.
Government incentives to adopt electronic health records under the HITECH Act are a leading reason for health care adoption of desktop virtualization, Imprivata reports.
Another reason is the mobile physician workflow, Ed Gaudet, Imprivata's chief marketing officer, told eWEEK. "Doctors and clinicians are coming and going on a regular basis, and they work across a number of different computers," he said. Virtualizing desktops and kiosks on the back end and on the floor allow for more efficient health care, Gaudet suggested.
Health care is also adopting desktop virtualization technology because of how it leads to better collaboration among clinicians and with patients, according to Gaudet.
"At the core of health care is this notion of sharing and collaboration across different roles," he said.
The technology allows doctors to retrieve personal health information (PHI) in the emergency room and around the hospital, he said. "Desktop virtualization is uniquely changing the way electronic health information is delivered," Gaudet said.
"Being able to preserve those sessions and desktops and have them roam wherever the doctor goes is another benefit of desktop virtualization within the health care industry," he explained. "It's hard to roam a static desktop from one endpoint to another."
Imprivata unveiled its survey results on Sept. 28. The company's OneSign Single Sign-On technology provides "no click access" to electronic health records (EHRs).
"The perspective from the doctors and clinicians was less about technology," Gaudet noted. "They were looking at saving clicks in their workflow." By spending less time logging in and at the computer, doctors can spend more time with patients, he said.
At VMworld 2011 on Aug. 29 in Las Vegas, Imprivata and Teradici announced virtualization technology that allows doctors to swipe a card to log in to remote desktops.
A surprising result in Imprivata's survey was slow adoption of cloud services in health care, according to Gaudet. Only 13 percent of health care respondents employ cloud services.
"Cloud services is actually a low priority in health care," Gaudet said. Only certain hospitals are currently using cloud services, he said.