With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe over the past few months, prominent stakeholders in various industries have had to adjust their strategy with the rapidly evolving situation. The healthcare industry in the Middle East will have to undergo crucial reforms once the crisis takes a back seat. Technological advancements, cost control, and greater access will be indispensable part of these reforms.
In health systems all over the world, there is what’s known as a rapid response team. When a patient’s clinical status deteriorates, the best practice is to assemble a multi-disciplinary team of medical experts to rapidly solve the problem. As the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, health organizations are quickly initiating Rapid Response plans.
Jacob Chacko Regional Business Head – Middle East, Saudi & South Africa (MESA) at HPE Aruba says, “Aruba sees itself as being an integral part of this multi-disciplinary team to help address the critical challenges facing Healthcare IT during this time. The company is responding to this crisis with the same ‘Customer First, Customer Last’ approach that has long endeared it to healthcare customers all over the world.”
Digital Transformation Technologies in Healthcare
While the use of technology in healthcare has risen to prominence in the last few years, it is likely to take bigger strides during and post COVID-19. Aruba provides an insight into how technology in healthcare will evolve and how the company’s solutions are driving this transformation:
Remote Working and Connectivity
Healthcare has traditionally been a worksite dependent industry, but with the need to follow social distancing and self-quarantine guidelines, enabling workers to be productive at home is now essential. Aruba Remote Access Points (RAPs) extend the same network services and security policies to an employee’s home, just as if they were in a hospital, clinic or office.
Expanded Network Coverage
Many hospitals are building drive-through testing stations and rapid triage areas outside of their facilities. These environments can be challenging, but through the use of Aruba’s Zero-Touch Provisioning, a network can be installed and configured without IT being physically involved. Aruba Access Points (APs) can easily be made to work over cellular connections if needed.
Aruba technology helps organizations leverage the power of the cloud. One key facet of cloud service delivery is the ability to grow capacity as needed. This current pandemic is a great example of how this capability proves valuable. Aruba Central for cloud-managed networking allows healthcare institutions manage new (and existing) networks simply and without on-site presence. When the need for these temporary installations passes, they can simply scale back to normal delivery.
Easily Monitor the User and Mission Critical Application Experience
Traditional methods of performance monitoring need to adapt to the current deployment and application needs. One way to ensure those who are working on the front lines and treating patients receive a quality network experience is by using Aruba User Experience Insight (UXI) to report on connectivity and application performance throughout the day. UXI also provides a simple way identify issues before they can cause problems – even if on-site support is not possible.
Telemedicine to Deliver Primary Care
While the focus is on COVID-19, the regular healthcare needs of communities remain and many healthcare services cannot be electively rescheduled. Where possible, the Aruba solutions described above will allow providers (MD/DO, PA-C, ARNP, etc.) to see patients via traditional telemedicine apps from the security of their own homes. By securely extending the hospital’s network to a provider’s home, a semblance of normal patient-provider interaction can be preserved.
The goal of a rapid response is to quickly identify and solve the most critical issues facing a patient and stabilize the treatment plan going forward. This is the response healthcare is seeing, as care-providing organizations have begun adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. This proves yet again how powerful and essential those that provide care for our communities truly are. Aruba is honoured to be a part of the Rapid Response Team for many of its healthcare partners around the world.
Countering Cybersecurity Risks
Most health systems have managed to stay ahead of cybersecurity attacks so far during the pandemic. However, it is a matter of time before cybercriminals swoop in to take advantage of heightened vulnerabilities. Health systems that have seen a doubling of their remote workforce have had to enable staff with remote connectivity devices to connect to enterprise IT systems seamlessly, with minimal data flow between devices in and outside firewalls.
The right technology, used at the right time, can be transformational for healthcare. Integrated correctly within the patient journey, it becomes a vital tool that supports clinicians, not hinders them, and contributes to a much-improved experience for patients.
The right technology, used at the right time, facilitates long-term change and creates an eco-system of integrated solutions that work as one to manage patient flow; think everything from a patient checking-in for their appointment on their smartphone, to clinicians booking follow-up appointments using electronic outcome forms.
“While the world’s leading researchers race to uncover a vaccine, governments realize that the key to recovery is an increase in COVID-19 testing. The ability to test, track contacts, and quarantine those infected hinges on the ability to test large numbers of the population. As the healthcare community in the Middle East continues to shift with these changing priorities, we will continue to support them with Rapid Response healthcare solutions that allow secure connectivity. Whether they are planning for pop-up testing, a triage tent, or a makeshift hospital in a stadium to prepare for a surge in patients, Aruba will be there to help,” concludes Jacob.