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SD-WAN: Easing The 6 Top Pain Points In Healthcare

Posted on: November 2, 2019 By: Carolyn Kuczynski

Contributed by Jody Hagemann

Senior Director, SD-WAN Product Management at Comcast Business

Healthcare is emerging as a leading early adopter of software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN); it’s the top vertical contender in our sales funnel. SD-WAN quickly and affordably addresses the biggest challenges of today’s digital healthcare industry – from mobile health to electronic health records (EHR), telemedicine and more.

As the Sr. Director of Product Management for Comcast Business’ SD-WAN product, I meet with many IT decision-makers of healthcare practices around the country, and I hear the same challenges repeatedly:

  • Adequate bandwidth – With mHealth (mobile health) now having some 300,000 apps on the market, healthcare consumers are clearly turning to their devices for more online communications and transactions every day which requires healthcare providers to have more bandwidth than ever.
  • Application prioritization – With telemedicine and essential functions like training happening virtually, healthcare providers need application-aware routing with the ability to prioritize the most important and network performance-sensitive applications.
  • Simplification of WAN network management
  • Ability to ramp up new urgent care centers fast
  • Affordable, predictable costs
  • 100 percent uptime/business continuity

SD-WAN can help healthcare companies overcome these challenges.

SD-WAN enables the use of widely available and affordable broadband that eliminates bandwidth constraints and empowers flawless online patient experiences, unhindered cloud and inter-office communications, and crystal-clear transmissions of X-rays, video and other critical imagery. Video, meanwhile, has moved toward the top of the bandwidth-hogging applications as its use in telemedicine and training have skyrocketed.

SD-WAN also allows practices to bring new critical care centers and other facilities online quickly because the time-consuming and expensive need for ordering, waiting for delivery and installation of on-premise hardware is eliminated. With SD-WAN, your entire network is provisioned, managed and monitored from centralized software controls.

I often ask healthcare IT managers, “What does a bad day look like?” Blood cannot be drawn, patients and staff are sent home, and important medical records cannot be transmitted to other doctors or hospitals. Business continuity is critical for this market vertical. Be sure that your SD-WAN is paired with the most reliable, resilient last-mile connection available, and for resiliency, that it includes wireless backup in the event that you experience a temporary outage or disruption of your primary connectivity.

As technologists, we are in the business of solving customer problems. SD-WAN addresses a majority of healthcare network challenges. I would love to hear your thoughts and especially your experiences with the world of software-defined networking.



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