Innovation doesn’t take place in a vacuum. When it comes to technological innovation in the healthcare sector, there is often a compelling event that acts as a catalyst for change. Over the past 18 months the pandemic has provided that stimulus.
The UK’s NHS was already the greatest publicly funded healthcare system in the world, but the speed with which digital transformation has been forced upon it has simultaneously driven the sector further forward and compounded the extraordinary pressure that IT teams face.
Even the NHS’s greatest advocates would admit that, from a technology perspective, it has not always been at the cutting edge. As an institution it has suffered its fair share of data breaches, either as a result of misconfigured, unsecured or outdated infrastructure. The paradigm shift towards digitised services in 2020/21 thrust connectivity, accessibility and data security to the forefront of every technology debate.
It isn’t just healthcare that has seen such radical change. Entire technological revolutions are seemingly happening overnight. Connectivity for many businesses used to be about access to business-critical data and applications within a secure LAN. The rise of the hybrid workforce and the widespread adoption of digital transformation initiatives has changed that forever. Borderless infrastructure, user-owned devices, edge computing and secure SD-WAN services now dominate the landscape.
For healthcare organisations, especially those delivering outpatient and community care, there is the very real prospect that things will never go back to the way they were. A consistent, reliable and secure connectivity experience on mobile devices, in people’s homes, will be essential to deliver excellent patient outcomes in the future. To provide this on a long-term basis, whilst retaining data integrity and security, will be the next big challenge to face healthcare service providers’ IT teams.
The Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is now the only way to truly secure your organisation in the “new normal”. Flexible working, according to some large corporates, no longer just means home-working, but working from literally anywhere – including abroad. The network edge can no longer even be definitively confined to a single country!
By securing the infrastructure at the edge, irrespective of the user and type of device, modern healthcare organisations can take advantage of the latest technological advancements. Utilising services such as 5G, healthcare service providers can deliver the next generation of clinical applications from anywhere – offering remote diagnosis, remote monitoring of patients and the longer-term enablement of strategic IoT devices to deliver an all-round remote patient care experience.
Clinical technology is innovative, exciting and clearly representative of the future for our NHS. SASE is the next generation enablement technology which the NHS, along with the rest of the world, will need to embrace if it is to ensure a secure and manageable IT experience – anywhere, on any device.