E-Healthcare comprises of applications that surround or support healthcare in order to streamline the process of patient and doctor interaction.
These include applications that:
- Compile & store computer-based patient records
- Schedule patients, physicians, technicians & facilities on campus or outside
- Store & retrieve digital images,
- Billing for services
- In the very near future – telemedicine as well
These are powerful and sophisticated applications that reduce operational costs and improve the way healthcare organizations work. They are so universally deployed within a healthcare organization that there are a critical part of the patient care.
To ensure the proper functionality & and availability of these critical applications, the underlying network infrastructure must meet both the technical and the business challenges. The technical issues involve providing access to critical patient data such that it is:
- High Availability – always up & running, whatever needed, image, patient billing info, etc.
- Highly scalable – accommodate optimal load, wherever needed
- High performance – no sluggishness, whenever needed, no delays
The business challenge is primarily
- Cost effectiveness – right sized network (available & scalable), right sized performance at the right price.
As part of this underlying infrastructure, application delivery controllers (ADCs) have emerged as one of the most important technologies in solving the problem of performance and accessibility for mission these critical applications. In its most basic form, a load balancer provides the ability to direct users to the best performing, accessible server. When one of the servers (or applications on that server) become inaccessible, the load balancer will take that server off-line, while automatically re-routing users to other functioning servers. In addition, using various load balancing algorithms, an intelligent load balancer can distribute users to servers that offer the best possible performance by dynamically interrogating key server elements such as number of concurrent connections and CPU/memory utilization. To further enhance the user experience, more advanced load balancers provide SSL acceleration by offloading security encryption/decryption processes from application servers, thereby dramatically increasing their performance, while decreasing the time and costs associated with certificate management.
For years, large corporations and institutions with mission-critical application initiatives were able to take advantage of server load balancing technology to significantly improve performance, availability and scalability of their applications. However, since e-healthcare is being deployed to reduce costs, it seems non-intuitive to spend the money on the underlying infrastructure and especially on deploying ADCs. For healthcare facilities and specifically for a small-to-medium sized hospital/clinics, the high cost of acquisition of this technology, has significantly hampered their efforts in taking advantage of e-healthcare applications.
However, that has all changed with Kemp Technologies' introduction of the LoadMaster. Integrating powerful, stable, full-featured application delivery and server load balancing with the latest advancements in layer-7 content switching and SSL acceleration technologies, Kemp has the ideal product for healthcare providers.