Imprivata, Teradici Simplify Log-ins for Virtualized Clients in Hospitals

Imprivata's authentication software and Teradici's remote-display protocol allow "no-click" log-ins to VMware's servers on zero client hospital monitors.

Later this year, doctors will be able to use an authentication badge that incorporates Teradici zero client firmware, Imprivata's OneSign authentication technology and VMware's new backend View 5 software to roam from one virtualized desktop to another.

With Teradici's PC-over-IP (PCoIP) firmware and remote client chip, Imprivata's OneSign authentication technology will allow doctors to swipe a card to log in to remote desktops.

PCoIP zero clients are remote cloud-based PCs that lack a CPU, applications, OS, device drivers, fan or hard drive. The clients are optimized for real-time data and high-quality imaging while pulling the data from the host.

Imprivata and Teradici announced the collaboration at the VMworld 2011 conference on Aug. 29 in Las Vegas, where they along with customers such as Dell and EMC will demonstrate the authentication technology.

"Health care has been waiting for this next-generation evolution in networking protocols between connecting the thin client and their hosted applications," David Ting, CTO for Imprivata, told eWEEK.

"The combination of VMware View 5, PCoIP zero clients and Imprivata OneSign enables clinicians to get the right information, in the right place, at the right time, with fast, simple, secure access," Vittorio Viarengo, vice president of end-user computing for VMware, said in a statement.

On remote desktops, doctors will be able to log in to documents such as X-rays, echocardiograms and electronic health records (EHRs), which detail patient histories.

"No Click Access is becoming the de facto standard for busy clinicians with fast-paced mobile workflows," Ed Gaudet, chief marketing officer for Imprivata, said in a statement. "Our customers were quick to embrace one-touch roaming point of care desktops and have been eagerly anticipating this extension to zero client devices."

With virtualization, hospitals are also able to save money on expensive data center hardware, according to Ting.

"Hospitals and health care in general have adopted the notion of using thinner clients, putting all of the applications back on a centralized server and leveraging the network to deliver the desktop experience to essentially smaller and smaller endpoints," Ting told eWEEK.

Storing data on a centralized server can lead to less data theft in hospitals, he noted.

"Secure remote access is one of the primary reasons customers are moving to a zero client model," Dan Cordingley, president and CEO of Teradici, said in a statement. "With the addition of OneSign single sign-on and authentication to PCoIP zero clients, health care providers will now be able to enjoy secure remote access using proximity cards."

Doctors can save time logging in to each terminal in exam rooms by using the No Click Access proximity badge. Companies that make the badge include Casi-Rusco, HID, Indala and Mifare.

"With the roaming experience that's possible now, doctors can go to a thin client, log in, get access to their desktop, shut down that desktop, walk to the next room and reconnect to their server again and basically get to where they were when they closed down the desktop with the previous patient."

Physicians will use the authentication tool by waving a badge over a reader, then logging in automatically to their zero clients, which communicate with Imprivata's OneSign software through a VMware-hosted session.

"You can just literally tap and go," Ting said. "The fewer the clicks, the more streamlined the workflow and the greater the productivity for that clinician."

"The OneSign system provides the user identity to the VMware-hosted session and unlocks that session, and instantly the doctor is reconnected," Ting explained.

In June, the Ponemon Institute released an Imprivata-sponsored report, called "How Single Sign-On Is Changing Healthcare," showing that single sign-ons to EHRs could save hospitals $2 million each per year.

In the future, instead of swiping a badge, doctors will be able to sign on to the zero clients with their fingerprints, Ting said.