Healthcare technology was far from being in a standstill before the 2020 pandemic arrived. Forces like electronic health records and emerging telehealth solutions were pushing hospitals, clinics, and medical groups to prioritize digital transformation to meet changing patient requirements.
Now, healthcare technology is moving forward even faster, and it’s largely due to three important factors:
New Healthcare Settings: A move to virtual appointments allowed providers to treat patients with the same or similar level of care as in-person appointments. While many patients prefer telehealth formats, there is also a demand for video chat and other communication channels. These types of formats rely heavily on network connections that support conferencing solutions with little or no latency, congestion, or dropped packets.
Rapid Changes: The quick transition to remote work was just the beginning for IT teams supporting healthcare organizations. Soon after the most pressing networking and security needs were addressed, teams began prioritizing the collaboration and communication technologies necessary for supporting healthcare workers.
Wearables: Healthcare providers have new tools available for monitoring patients at home. A patient that has low oxygen levels and visits the emergency department but is on the borderline for whether they need to be admitted can be sent home with an oxygen monitor that reports results directly to the physician. This approach lessens the burden on hospitals, while still allowing the patient to receive a high level of care and monitoring.
Healthcare providers apply this approach across a variety of diagnoses, carefully monitoring heart rates and blood sugar levels to keep patients comfortably at home.
For providers, wearables amplify the need for digital transformation, with healthcare technology built on an infrastructure that can handle the broader and more complex security plane that a fleet of wearables introduces.
A Role for SD-WAN: Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is an important part of successful digital transformation for many hospitals and other healthcare organizations. The virtual overlay placed on the physical network provides a centralized dashboard for networking teams to manage the complexity of a cloud or hybrid cloud environment. Here are a few of the ways in which it supports the needs of modern healthcare:
- With carrier-agnostic traffic prioritization, it allows networking teams to prioritize more sensitive and critical transmissions, such as a telehealth solution.
- It offers multiple choices for connectivity, reducing costs related to bandwidth-hungry cloud solutions being utilized for telehealth and wearables.
- With increased visibility and control, it reduces the risk of allowing remote workers on company assets. Any threats can be isolated and addressed without impacting the performance of the rest of the network.
Healthcare technology is quickly advancing to meet the needs and requests of patients. Contact us at Access Tech to learn more about SD-WAN and how to choose the best solution and provider for your digital transformation.