Adoption of server hosted virtual desktops in healthcare set to increase

Survey of healthcare IT decisionmakers in US and EMEA finds adoption of desktop virtualisation and cloud computing is expected to increase significantly over the next two years

The adoption of desktop virtualisation and cloud computing technologies is set to increase significantly among healthcare trusts in the UK over the next two years, according to new research.

A report entitled 2013 Desktop Virtualization Trends in Healthcare: A Global Perspective, has been released this week by healthcare IT security specialist, Imprivata.

Cloud computing and desktop virtualisation are two technology areas that we believe can significantly benefit the global healthcare IT industry by improving efficiency and reducing costs for the betterment of patient care

It is based on a survey of 277 healthcare IT decision-makers; 211 in the US and 66 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). They were quizzed about the adoption rates and benefits of desktop virtualisation and cloud-based applications.

And, while it appears Europe is currently lagging behind, there is evidence, according to the research, that trusts are set to embrace solutions over the next 24 months.

According to the study, server based computing (SBC) and server hosted virtual desktops (SHVD) are prevalent in the US and EMEA healthcare industries, with adoption of both technologies expected to increase. This is especially the case in EMEA, where respondents anticipate that SHVD adoption will grow by 74% over the next 24 months and surpass SHVD usage in the US within that timeframe.

The figures show that, in the U.S, 75% of respondents use SBC today and 57% currently use SHVD. In EMEA, the figures are 84% and 42% respectively.

In addition to desktop virtualisation, the survey also asked healthcare organisations about current and planned adoption of cloud computing. The results indicate that although the majority of US and EMEA respondents do not use cloud-based applications and services today, use is expected to increase by 57% in the US and by 88% in EMEA over the next 24 months.

Of those respondents that use cloud services today, 41% of those in the US indicated that they store protected health information in the cloud, which is far more commonplace than in EMEA where the figure is 17%. This trend is expected to continue, as 67% US respondents using cloud services expect to be storing PHI in the cloud within 24 months, compared to just 33% of EMEA respondents.

The survey indicates that healthcare organisations are becoming increasingly more comfortable with using cloud-based services and applications, which is a trend we are seeing as well

Commenting on the findings, Chuck Podesta, senior vice president and chief information officer at the Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vermont, said: “The results align with what we are experiencing—desktop virtualisation improves clinicians’ productivity and mobility, enabling fast, seamless access to our electronic medical record systems. This reduces IT cost and allows our clinicians to better focus on what matters most - delivering high-quality patient care.”

Matthias Haas, product manager at IGEL Technology, added: “The findings validate the feedback we continue to receive from partners and customers in the US and EMEA, especially with respect to the increasing use of thin and zero clients to support desktop virtualisation.

“Healthcare chief information officers are tasked with customising IT environments to support a number of different clinical workflows, and desktop virtualisation offers flexibility to meet demand from their providers for fast, easy access to their roaming sessions.”

And Jeff McNaught, executive director of marketing and chief strategy officer for cloud client computing at Dell, told BBH: “Cloud computing and desktop virtualisation are two technology areas that we believe can significantly benefit the global healthcare IT industry by improving efficiency and reducing costs for the betterment of patient care. The survey indicates that healthcare organisations are becoming increasingly more comfortable with using cloud-based services and applications, which is a trend we are seeing as well.”

Click here to access the full report.

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