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iPad in healthcare: Not so fast

Tom Kaneshige | Nov. 8, 2011
One hospital hasn't jumped on the iPad-in-healthcare craze yet.

Case-in-point: Cerner is developing a way to render its app on mobile devices, such as the iPad. Seattle Children's Hospital is taking a hard look at the new Cerner tool, which takes select information from a patient's record and presents it in a view-only, iPad-friendly format over VDI. (Cerner could not be reached for comment.)

In this way, the data continues to reside on Seattle Children's Hospital's servers. "It gives you the iPad look and feel without the iPad needing native access to our data," Wright says. "I want to keep the data in my cloud, not iCloud."

Wright's virtual desktop infrastructure environment does allow file transfers from Seattle Children's Hospital servers to local storage on a computer via Accellion's mobile file sharing app and encrypted file container. Wright is able to monitor and track files flowing through Accellion's system.

Of course, confidential files can make their way to iPads and iCloud through nefarious means. "There's always a way around things," Wright admits, adding, "iCloud certainly presents trepidation, with data getting out there and being moved around so many devices."

Nevertheless, Wright is hopeful that Citrix VDI and Accellion will staunch potential security leaks, and critical healthcare app makers such as Cerner will deliver a better iPad experience. This could open the doors to the iPad at Seattle Children's Hospital.

"I need to facilitate a way iPads can be used without endangering the corporation or patients' health information," Wright says. "It's not a matter of whether I want or don't want iPads in the environment, it's a matter of inevitability."


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