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Automating Healthcare Needs SD-WAN

We live in a world that is being hit hard by a pandemic and with the world fighting and struggling with this terrible disease, there are a few hard lessons that we have learned. SD-WAN is one technology that really helped the healthcare industry with the new challenges that come with transitioning to an automated environment.

In this post, I want to go into a couple of the use cases where VMware helps IT departments provide the much-needed resources for both the healthcare worker and the patient. In some cases, this means that the patient can stay at home to talk to the healthcare worker and be monitored and taken care of remotely. This includes monitoring the patient for insulin levels, cardiac functions, or medicine intake, which are all very important for the patient.

Let’s dive into use case one:

Monitoring Insulin Levels

For patients with diabetes, the use of insulin can be a matter of life and death. Where a healthy person creates his/her own insulin through their pancreas, a person with diabetes makes too little or their body’s insulin doesn’t work adequately. Either way, they need to monitor and adjust their insulin levels multiple times a day.

With the automation of these measurements, the patient, as well as the healthcare worker, can better monitor the progress and adjust where needed. This comes with multiple levels of security, of course. With monitoring the patient’s vitals more frequently and the ability to adjust daily if needed, this allows the patient’s comfort of living to be improved dramatically. The healthcare worker can easily look at the patient’s charts and adjust if needed, and only ask the patient to come in when needed to further investigate or adjust.

Smart Devices Quickly Find Their Way to Healthcare

In a world where a simple computer fits into a watch or a phone and is more powerful than the computer that landed the Apollo capsule on the moon back in the 1960s, it is not unthinkable that this technology will propel the healthcare industry into a technology spin that is even bigger than what we have seen until now.

Apple, for one, is collaborating with several leading health institutions to examine Hearing, Women’s Mobility, and Heart Health. This means that patients carrying an Apple device can have their health monitored, and in some cases, even prevent patients from having a heart attack by analyzing the data collected by the Apple device. This will not only be possible with Apple gear but the other main player in this market, as well as very targeted organizations, will keep evolving this technology.

This provides great possibilities for both the patient and the healthcare worker. The possibilities are endless, but we need to make sure that the patient’s confidentiality will never be breached.

Telemedicine and Telehealth Will Grow (Enormous)

In the last decade, we’ve thankfully seen a huge improvement in medicine for all kinds of diseases and the great thing about it is that we can live longer and still be capable of having the life we desire. But with the population growing as fast as it is, there is also the need for only having the people who truly need to be in the hospitals and healthcare institutes to be there. If one needs to go to the hospital every time their medicine intake needs to be examined or just for a quick check-up appointment, the hospitals will be overcrowded and the healthcare workers won’t be able to keep up. This is where telemedicine and telehealth can provide major gains for all parties involved.

With Telemedicine and telehealth, the prescription and adjustments needed, as well as the interaction from a pharmacy worker, are automated. This provides a much smoother process for the patient and health worker to easily connect and interact with each other, which means for most of the interaction, the patient can stay at home and see the healthcare worker online. You might think that this is only in the interest and well being of the patient, but think of all of the lost time that a healthcare worker now saves by simply staying in one place, talking to their patients, monitoring the patient, logging the conversation, and adjusting where needed.

When talking to a doctor a couple of years ago, she told me that she was in a normal situation and was able to see around 6 patients per hour, which was boosted to 10 with the use of telemedicine and telehealth. That is per hour for one doctor on average. Imagine what this means worldwide. There is still a need to see patients and there still will be hospitalizations, but please think about this: In a normal situation, would you rather recover and communicate with a healthcare worker from your own home, or travel to the hospital, see the specialist, travel home, and then rest?

Where Does SD-WAN Fit in All of This?

We covered a lot of ground in this post on the huge potential that the automation and digitalization of healthcare has on the patient and the healthcare workers. The benefits are huge and it provides the patient with the ability to be in a safe and familiar environment while still being able to get the care specifically needed by them. The healthcare worker is able to provide the patient with the care they need while also helping more patients with a better and healthier working environment for themselves.

The technology needed to accomplish this generates tons of very important data that needs to be sent and received in a secure and timely matter. Prioritizing the dataflows and making sure that the patient data safely arrives where it is needed is where SD-WAN plays a huge role. Making sure that the needed bandwidth is available and secured before the confidential patient data is transmitted is what VMware provides. This is an essential part of the world we live in and in the discussion we had with VMware, we go deeper into the topic of what they bring to the Healthcare industry.

About the author

Arjan Timmerman

With over 15 years in IT Arjan has gained a lot of experience in the virtual DataCenter. These days, as a Principal consultant for Metis IT his focus is on the Software Defined DataCenter and helping consultants and the company grow in this fast changing world. Through his blog which can be found at VDIcloud he’s been awarded with the VMware vExpert title multiple times. And as of 2016 his new blog SDDCinfo he’ll focus more on on the Software Defined DataCenter.

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