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How SD-WAN Enables Next-Gen Healthcare

The last thing that comes to one’s mind when talking about the healthcare sector is how closely it is intertwined with IT, and therefore, networking. Let’s explore how SD-WAN capabilities are enabling key transformation initiatives in healthcare.

The New Healthcare Experience

Healthcare is going through a profound transformation that impacts workers and patients alike. Where the global pandemic hasn’t deeply reshaped how organizations operate, it has dramatically sped up transformation initiatives.

Remote work has become the norm for non-essential personnel, but new technologies are also making telehealth and telemedicine a reality for health practitioners.

Patients can now be monitored from home – a convenience to some, but a blessing to those with chronic conditions and reduced mobility.

Finally, healthcare organizations can provide a seamless online experience to their patients related to extended services such as registration, payment, and other administrative matters.

Embracing Modern Healthcare Impacts IT

To successfully embrace this experience, healthcare organizations need to focus on supporting their workforce and improving the patient experience.

Organizations should deliver better access capabilities to their workforce (virtual desktops), support the growing use of mobility, and provide improved performance for real-time applications. Finally, they should also empower remote branches such as clinics, offices, and pharmacies.

Patient requirements are focused on a smooth, always-on, and non-intrusive experience. It must enable dedicated equipment and IoT devices to operate transparently without requiring specific knowledge from the patient.

Organizations must also ensure that the vital information exchanges from and to the patient are always transmitted and get the highest priority in terms of network traffic. In essence, the location shouldn’t be a showstopper to provide healthcare services.

Fighting Networking Complexity

All of these requirements create a complex WAN landscape that is bound to keep growing.

These imperatives must be met in a secure, manageable, and scalable fashion while keeping costs under control.

Managing networks at scale isn’t a particularly simple task. When pouring in the additional complexity of remote branches, mobility, and patient support, traditional WAN networking becomes too complex and too costly to handle.

With such levels of complexity, SD-WAN is the only way to securely support application growth, network agility, and simplified branch implementation. SD-WAN is a key enabler for next-gen healthcare services by delivering high-performance, reliable branch access to cloud services, private data centers, and SaaS-based enterprise applications.

Enabling Next-Gen Healthcare with VMware SD-WAN

VMware SD-WAN is particularly well-suited to meet those challenges. It is built on software-defined networking principles and thus addresses end-to-end automation, application continuity, branch transformation, and security from edge to core to cloud.

VMware SD-WAN provides several benefits to organizations:

  • Simplified WAN Management: achieved through extensive use of automation and zero-touch deployments, enables simplified operations and one-click service insertion
  • Assured Application Performance: ensuring transport-independent performance for demanding applications and leveraging economical bandwidth
  • Managed On-Ramp to the Cloud: bypassing the bottleneck of corporate networks and providing direct cloud access with performance, reliability, and security

Thanks to VMware SD-WAN, staff can easily set up their own SD-WAN service at home and have the same experience working offsite as they would have onsite.

SD-WAN: Powering the Healthcare Revolution

The healthcare revolution is a leaner way of delivering healthcare services without being detrimental to the practitioner, caregiver, and patient relationship.

Take for example patients with reduced mobility or living in rural areas. They do not have regular, direct access to their doctor or caregiver, and a lack of regular follow-up and communication can be detrimental to their health.

Telemedicine tears down those physical barriers and brings healthcare directly into the living room of those patients. The outcomes of this transformation are invaluable for patients and society alike.

Organizations that have embraced SD-WAN are leading the healthcare revolution. SD-WAN adds agility, scalability, manageability, and security to existing network infrastructures. It provides a stable and predictable networking layer that allows seamless optimizations to take place in the background.

SD-WAN also empowers organizations to achieve their goals, whether in improving the workforce capabilities and ways of working, or whether it relates to the patient’s experience and ultimate improvements in terms of quality of service and quality of life.

About the author

Max Mortillaro

Massimiliano "Max" Mortillaro is a Partner & Principal Analyst at TECHunplugged.io. He's a former 5-star VMware vExpert, one of the re-founders of the Czech Republic VMware User Group and its former leader. He's an advocate for online security, privacy, encryption and digital rights. Like his name very wrongfully hints, Max is French and lives with his family in Prague, Czech Republic. Besides being a failed sportsman he is a general bon vivant and the impersonation of your average hobbit in full size.

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