VMware is looking at the health care industry as one of the key areas as it looks to grow its VMware View virtualized desktop environment. Several hospitals say they've been able to save money, reduce power consumption, and make it easier for doctors and nurses to get around by using VMware View. VMware is finding itself in an increasingly competitive space, with vendors like Microsoft and Citrix looking to grab larger shares of the desktop virtualization space.
VMware officials are touting the attention their desktop virtualization
technology is getting from hospitals, which are using it to enable health care
providers to more easily move from one patient to another and to streamline the
tasks of upgrading applications and protecting data.
VMware June 9 highlighted the work administrators at Norton Healthcare, St.
Vincent's Catholic Hospital
and Riverside HealthCare are doing with VMware's
, which enables users to run virtual desktops on central servers in the
data center that can be accessed from any thick- or thin-client device.
The health care providers can see their own desktop environment, complete
with all the clinical applications they need, and can quickly access medical
and patient information.
"With VMware View, our physicians can go to a thin client, log in,
access a patient list and then walk down the hall to another thin client, and
their patient list would be right where they left it," Brian Cox, director
of customer service for Norton Healthcare, said in a statement. "The staff
recognized the benefit of that capability immediately."
VMware launched the latest version of its VDI (virtual desktop
infrastructure) in December 2008, and included a number of new tools, including
View Composer, which enables better management of storage resources in a VDI
environment. Another new feature is Offline Desktop, which lets users work on
their virtual desktops while offline and then synchronizes the new information
when the user goes back online.
VMware is in an increasingly competitive space, with rivals like Citrix
Systems and Microsoft looking for better traction in the virtualized
The health care field, with its need for doctor mobility and to protect
sensitive patient data, is an area that VMware is targeting. The mobility
aspect was a key issue for Riverside Medical
Center, in suburban Chicago,
according to Wayne Kelsheimer, corporate director of information services.
Kelsheimer said the facility initially looked at a virtualized desktop
environment to avoid a hardware refresh and to make it easier to roll out
applications. Making it easier for health care providers to more easily move
around also has been an advantage.
"Our nurses are able to go up to any workstation or mobile medical cart and
get their same desktop on any device," he said in a statement. "We were also
able to repurpose some of our existing desktop devices into thin clients,
leveraging the investments we had already made in this equipment."
St. Vincent's Catholic
in New York saw a way to save
money and reduce power consumption by going to a virtualized environment.
"With VMware View, we are able to move to a 'zero footprint' device,
reduce power consumption and provide our emergency staff department an always
on and available desktop," Kane Edupuganti, director of IT operations and
communications for the hospital, said in a statement. "We plan on
continuing desktop virtualization across nearly 5,000 endpoints in order to
maximize ROI in areas outside of IT."