Imprivata Introduces OneSign API for Health Care VDI Clients

Imprivata's OneSign ProveID Embedded API will integrate with zero and thin clients from HP and Igel Technology.

Imprivata has unveiled OneSign ProveID Embedded, an API that is designed to allow health care providers to enable fast, secure No Click Access to electronic health records (EHRs) and similar clinical software in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

"Strong authentication allows health care organizations to optimize their virtual desktop environments by allowing clinicians to quickly and seamlessly access the information they need, wherever they need it to deliver the highest-quality patient care possible," David Ting, founder and chief technology officer at Imprivata, said in a statement.

Hewlett-Packard and Igel Technology will integrate the technology in the firmware of their thin and zero clients. Zero clients allow users to access documents such as EHRs and medical images without the need for a CPU, operating system or hard drive; thin clients also lack local storage but run an OS.

The HP t410 Smart Zero Client and Igel UD2-LX MultiMedia Universal Desktop Thin Client will incorporate the new OneSign ProveID Embedded technology from Imprivata, which launched the product Aug. 26 at the VMworld conference in San Francisco.

"Imprivata OneSign ProveID Embedded enhances these benefits by enabling HP and Igel to deliver off-the-shelf strong authentication capabilities integrated directly into their thin and zero clients, which further simplifies access to roaming desktops for clinicians while ensuring that HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] compliance and security requirements are satisfied."

Igel is looking to develop thin clients with an open flexible architecture, according to Matthias Haas, product manager at Igel. "Integrating Imprivata OneSign ProveID Embedded into the firmware of Igel's thin clients supports this approach, and offering out-of-the-box strong authentication capabilities allows users to quickly, simply and securely access their roaming sessions," Haas said in a statement.

With its authentication workflow, the OneSign ProveID Embedded architecture allows clinicians to access their applications from any endpoint. ProveID automatically detects and downloads the application on an endpoint device to keep IT maintenance costs down.

Desktop virtualization is growing in demand in health care, according to Judy Hanover, research director for provider IT strategies at IDC Health Insights.

"We continue to see demand from health care organizations for desktop virtualization combined with strong user authentication management as a means of simplifying how clinicians interact with information technology while maintaining compliance with HIPAA and security regulations," Hanover said in a statement. "As thin- and zero-client devices gain adoption to support roaming access, we expect the ability to deliver out-of-the-box strong authentication capabilities to be a significant value-add to help organizations truly optimize their virtual desktop infrastructure."

As IT departments stretch their resources to satisfy the meaningful-use objectives for EHRs, they will need to balance security concerns with IT costs.

With VDI, "the power savings are big because there's next to nothing running there," James Millington, director of product marketing for Imprivata, told eWEEK.

"We're seeing more and more of VDI out there, and that's where health care is going," said Chris Shaw, general manager of the Imprivata OneSign product group. VDI gives the IT departments in health care organizations flexibility in the client desktops they can deploy, he told eWEEK.

VDI allows health care organizations to reduce costs by relying on a server-based computing infrastructure to access critical information, said Millington.

"Zero clients are a key part in delivering all of that value of VDI and server-based computing," Millington said.