Citrix building Workspace IoT for hospitals

The company’s unified workspace pulls together new and emerging technologies to enable hospitals to replace desktop PCs with sub-$100 devices running Raspberry Pi.
By Tom Sullivan
07:22 AM

Citrix Systems is creating what it calls Workspace IoT based on virtualization and open hardware technologies to enable hospitals to move away from traditional fat PCs to virtual desktops inexpensively.

The product lineup includes an Internet of Things gateway, an IoT messaging platform and a casting tool along the lines of Chromecast of Apple TV.

“We’ll provide the unified workspace to users regardless of what device they’re on – the appropriate apps on appropriate devices,” said Chris Fleck, vice president of mobility solutions at Citrix. “Then add IoT to the equation and it gives you the ability to do more than access apps – you can improve the workflow.”

The thin client, HDX Ready Pi, essentially turns the open source Raspberry Pi into deployable endpoint devices for less than $100, Fleck said. That price includes a locked down Linux operating system, power supply, management features, Citrix Receiver optimization, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Fleck said that the intention is to make replacing desktop PCs a manageability or security decision rather than an economic one since the device is low-cost.

“HDX Ready Pi is now hitting the market,” Fleck said. Citrix is also developing two more pieces that are currently in beta testing, those being the IoT gateway and casting tool.

The Octoblu messaging and automation platform can be used to tie together a range of peripherals, services and apps, Fleck said. Those could include a barcode scanner, wearable devices with heart rate monitors or a non-invasive Bluetooth monitor — and potentially reduce the time it takes nurses to collect data on vital signs and input those in an EMR as well as cutting down on errors.

The HDX casting tool, which Citrix gave the temporary development name Healthcare Hub, works like Chromecast to open virtual channels to a display, keyboard and mouse. The tool would enable, for instance, a clinician to walk into a patient’s room and have the EHR pop up onto a screen. That could eliminate sign-in and authentication time, Fleck said.

“We’re showing the life beyond that fist step of virtualizing apps – future IoT,” Fleck said. “Put all the pieces together and you can create new automated workflows for healthcare.”

Citrix will be in Booth 2623. 

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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