Q&A: The adaptive healthcare enterprise

Adoption of high-bandwidth applications such as telemedicine and EMR/EHR infrastructure are driving the need for an efficient delivery of business critical applications.
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Shawn Hakl, vice president, product and new business innovation, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, is responsible for the security, IP networking and managed services products that Verizon delivers to enterprise, small/medium business, wholesale and partner customers. He discusses the concept of the adaptive healthcare enterprise.

What is driving digital transformation in healthcare?

While security and privacy continue to dominate enterprise priorities, adoption of high-bandwidth applications such as telemedicine and EMR/EHR infrastructure are driving the need for an efficient delivery of business critical applications. We have seen the rise of healthcare exchanges and mobile clinics, which promote collaboration among institutions and sharing of information. Further, the IoT (Internet of Things) phenomenon has stormed healthcare with new medical devices generating high demands for real-time data.

How does SD WAN deliver on the digital transformation for Healthcare?

When people think about IoT and healthcare, they might first think SD WAN drives agility to help meet business outcomes for M&A deals, business partnerships and cloud/IoT adoption by leveraging key technology benefits of network segmentation and the efficient delivery of applications. M&A deals can be integrated much more quickly as a result of the overlay networks created by SD WAN instead of the traditional approach of requiring network engineering teams to integrate the infrastructure. As medical applications are virtualized and migrated to the cloud, SD WAN enables building overlay networks and extending security functions to cloud centers quickly while managing performance to these applications.

Rapidly deploying secure network segmentation also benefits smaller radiology groups and business partners who don’t have EMR/EHR to connect and access larger hospital networks.

Adoption of IoT in medical equipment generally suffers from huge bursts in bandwidth consumption that’s critical for real-time care. SD WAN not only manages bandwidth utilization but is further enhanced by Verizon’s integration to bandwidth on-demand services offered via Dynamic Bandwidth.

Why is SD-WAN foundational to enterprise transformation and how is Verizon well positioned to lead this for enterprises?

Network, compute and storage are three pillars of enterprise infrastructure. Many of the innovations that have transformed the compute environment are being adopted to make networking more agile and secure. SD WAN has propelled this innovation and transformed the network infrastructure. SD WAN delivers on the agility required to provide clear business value by allowing for an intelligent trade-off between performance, cost and security for each individual application. Verizon’s service offering for SD WAN delivers the advisory services to implement the operations, expertise to operate at scale and the ecosystem needed to take maximum advantage of the benefits of the technology. Managing SD WAN environments requires advanced analytics in application policy performance. Verizon’s services deliver on the technology, expertise and governance for our global enterprise customers for an end-to-end solution in managing SD WAN environments.

How is the adoption of the technology?

Customer response has been very positive. Since the launch of Verizon’s SD WAN service in 2015, we have seen enterprises globally making SD WAN the foundation of their network transformations strategy. Not only have we already deployed SD WAN solutions spanning multiple vendors, we have operationalized the deployments at scale and are continuing to evolve the maturity of SD WAN solutions. Verizon has successfully deployed SD WAN solutions to thousands of locations globally for enterprises, and we expect this trend to increase in 2017. Interestingly, it’s the larger, more conservative institutions that are adopting first, unlike what we see with other technologies. In this specific sector, we have deployed at scale for one of the largest health and safety organizations globally, as well as a few other Fortune-50 healthcare and global Pharma companies.

How does enterprise transformation at the network level connect to healthcare’s primary goals of addressing cost, quality, and access to care?

While payers and pharma have always operated with an enterprise mindset, provider organizations, hospitals and integrated delivery networks have made that transition more slowly – learning how to navigate the balance beam between healthcare as a service and healthcare as a business. A great deal of organizational focus for those businesses has understandably been directed at transformation in care delivery models and compliance requirements. Innovation has been focused on interoperability, disease management, telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, wellness and other solutions aimed purposefully at improving care outcomes. But innovation at the edge starts with innovation at the core. All of that care-centric and compliance-centric innovation is predicated on the assumption of fast, reliable connectivity, seamless interoperability, end-to-end security, real-time collaboration and mobility. The backbone of all of this is a responsive, agile network that can adapt to the evolving needs of your organization.

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