Dell’s Healthcare IT Solutions

Posted on May 1, 2009 I Written By

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I found this article which described a number of the offerings that Dell has offered to help Healthcare IT. I’m sure this could sound a lot like a sales pitch for Dell. It’s not intended to be a sales pitch for Dell. In fact, most of the solutions are being offered through Dell partners like Symantec, VMWare, Citrix, etc. I’d caution that you should look around since you can certainly find the exact same products from other sales channels than Dell. As always, it’s best to look around when purchasing any of the products described below.

What I did find interesting was all of the various types of packages that Dell and its partners are trying to offer to healthcare IT. My big question for you, is how can we ever keep up with all these cool technologies?

The following are snippets of the article linked above. I’ll add my commentary in italics below each section.

Dell Mobile Clinical Computing Solution

Among the new offerings announced is Dell Mobile Clinical Computing Solutions. This lets physicians access patients’ records from any terminal using smart cards and Symantec’s (Nasdaq: SYMC) Workspace Corporate product for single sign-on and secure authentication.

This capability is not entirely new, however. Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA) has offered roaming capabilities using smart cards and single sign-on access through its Sun Ray technology, both in the U.S. and worldwide, for several years now. U.S. Sun Ray customers in the healthcare field include Denver Health, which provides healthcare for a quarter of all residents of Denver, Colo.

Smart Cards are interesting to talk about and interesting to see in action, but I just personally have never been fond of trying to manage smart cards. They’re expensive and prone to be lost. Can someone else make the case for them? I’d be interested to hear it.

On-Demand Desktop Streaming

Another element of Dell’s new lineup is On-Demand Desktop Streaming. This is for stationary environments where data management and security are critical. Virtual disk images will be streamed to desktops. This enhances security because users get a new, pristine image every time they boot up.

While Dell partners with VMware (NYSE: VMW), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS) for virtualization, it’s likely that Citrix has been picked for this solution, as it is based on streaming images to the desktop.

On demand desktop streaming is a really cool concept. I think that in the next 2 years, the thin client on the desktop will become a major reality. Of course, I think this really only applies to large scale implementations that can benefit from the savings of virtualization and thin clients. Small offices will still be buying the regular old desktops. I don’t know what Dell will do, but I see VMWare becoming the dominate player in this space and Citrix losing some of its hold.

Virtual Remote Desktop

Virtual Remote Desktop offers centralized control and management of end-user devices while enabling personalized end-user desktops, access from any device — whether within our outside the corporate firewall — and session mobility, where a single desktop session can follow the user from one device to another.

The solution was developed in collaboration with Citrix. It consists of Citrix XenServer Dell Edition; Citrix Desktop Delivery Controller; Citrix Secure Gateway; and Citrix Provisioning Server.

This sounds like the idea of taking the desktop to your mobile phone. The mobile phone is getting there now with 3G speeds. I’d like to see this work. I’m afraid it’s still not going to be as nice as using a desktop.

Dell, Perot and the Cloud

In addition to Mobile Clinical Computing, Dell is teaming up with Perot Systems to provide virtualized desktop, storage, server and electronic health records on-premise, hosted off-site or in secure private clouds.

Perot also works with other major vendors in healthcare IT, such as IBM (NYSE: IBM) , HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Sun. “We’re vendor-agnostic,” Moss said. “We work with whatever’s best for the client.”

I don’t know anything about Perot systems, but it sounds interesting. I might have to learn more. Anyone else ever used Perot systems before that can tell me what it’s like?