Virtual desktop infrastructure is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the healthcare sector. For a complex and highly regulated industry, in which evolution is often triggered by regulatory requirements, virtualization provides doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff access to the data and applications they need on-demand, from any location. Medical professionals can access documents and applications through a secure, encrypted connection between their device and the cloud. One of the upcoming uses of virtual desktops is to facilitate the storage and retrieval of electronic diagnostic images. In this article, let us explore the concept of hosting medical imaging software on virtual desktops.
What Are the Challenges with Current Medical Imaging Technologies?
Many hospitals and healthcare centers use Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) healthcare solutions displaying, transporting, storing, retrieving, and archiving X-ray, MR (magnetic resonance), other medical images. This system comprises various modalities, such as CT, mammography, MRI, and X-ray, a secured network for transmitting patient information, storage, and archiving solutions, and workstations for retrieving, interpreting, and reviewing images. There are several challenges involved with such complex setups.
- Several users have to switch between workstations. This involves using multiple logins, compatibility issues due to differences in configuration, and access limitations, which lead to inconsistencies in user experience.
- Desktop hardware has to be replaced on an average of every 2-4 years. Many of the imaging software rely on GPUs that need drivers to be compatible with the hardware. The cost of upgrading hardware components such as the GPU, or the software, such as the operating system, can escalate the cost of managing the desktop environment for end-users.
- In specialties such as radiology, downtime is a major concern. It may not be viable to maintain a “dark” inventory of desktop machines, and even “ghosting” or “imaging” of new desktops will result in downtime.
What Are the Advantages of Hosting Medical Imaging Software on Virtual Desktop?
Virtualizing medical imaging software and other healthcare applications allow users to take advantage of easy-to-manage and scalable desktops, along with additional flexibility, mobility, and the same personalized experience they enjoy with a physical desktop. Here are some of the other advantages of using virtual desktop solutions for healthcare businesses.
- The cost of managing virtual desktops is much lower than typical desktop machines provisioned with physical hardware.
- End-users can use virtual desktops that run on the latest operating systems for accessing healthcare applications across multiple devices without worrying about operating system and browser requirements.
- Patching and updating virtual machines can be done with minimal/no downtime, often without IT expertise, as these are managed solutions.
- Multiple imaging software or versions can co-exist on the same virtual desktop, and end-users can test new solutions without tedious installation or reinstallation process required on physical systems.
- Virtual desktops are more reliable, scalable, and highly available, and in many cases, do not require as much helpdesk support.
- They are easier to deploy and can be configured with advanced security features that improve ease of use without compromising patient data.
Apps4Rent Can Help with Medical Imaging Software Hosting
Multi-monitor and complex medical imaging applications such as protein folding, and post-processing need Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for processing information. Apps4Rent is one of the pioneering service providers to offer GPU accelerated virtual desktops for medical image software hosting and other resource-intensive applications.
As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP and Citrix Partner, Apps4Rent provides virtual desktops that use cutting-edge technology for secure, reliable, and scalable solutions for the healthcare industry hosted in our top tier SSAE-16 datacenters or Azure. Contact our cloud-architects, available 24/7/365 through phone, chat, and email for assistance.