Earlier this week I attended “The New Wave of Healthcare IT Virtual Seminar” from SearchHealthIT.com. Unfortunately, I had to leave for the airport, but I did catch one of the first sessions on mobile health by Claudia Tessler and C. Peter Waegermann of the mHealth Initiative, Inc.
mHealth is basically the area where electronic medical records (EMR), mobile computing, social media and direct patient / doctor communication intersect.
The vision is clear: Patients and their doctors communicate via all the modalities we’re already enjoying as consumers: eMail, text messages, and sometimes social media. The obvious challenge is that the desire for convenience must be carefully balanced with the mandated need for privacy and security.
Application and Desktop virtualization can confine the protected data to the datacenter, while enabling clinicians to interact with the data securely over any device without the need to re-write the application. Application vendors sometimes offer secure patient portals that allow for direct communication between patients and doctors and nurses. With app and desktop virtualization, even the relatively new iPad is supported out of the box through Citrix Receiver.
The following resources provide a best-practices based approach to designing virtualization environments based on Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop technologies:

  • Windows XP Optimization Guide for Virtual Desktops
    Description: If Windows XP is still your desktop operating system of choice and it is going to be used within a virtual desktop environment, you need to optimize it appropriately. The optimizations will help deliver a better user experience and greater scalability on the hypervisor of choice (XenServer, Hyper-V, or ESX).
  • XenDesktop Modular Reference Architecture
    Description: The architecture explained within this white paper is a recipe for creating a scalable XenDesktop environment using any required FlexCast option. This reference architecture discusses how to configure the controllers, imaging layer, application layer and the desktop layer.
  • High-Availability for Desktop Virtualization – Reference Architecture
    Description: In environments where desktop virtualization is a critical business resource, it is imperative that the solution remains available even if a component or data center is lost. This reference architecture looks at all levels of the entire XenDesktop solution, and provides an architecture for creating a highly-available solution.
  • High-Availability for Desktop Virtualization – Implementation Guide
    Description: Implementing a desktop virtualization solution oftentimes requires an investigation and implementation of the high-availability options. This white paper provides step-by-step instructions for enabling high-availability in XenDesktop within a single site and across multiple sites.
  • Virtual Applications or Virtual Desktops
    floirDescription: Trying to decide between virtual desktops and virtual applications is oftentimes challenging. By understanding the core expectations and requirements for each delivery method helps make this decision easy. This white paper focuses on the decision and how to identify the most appropriate type of delivery solution.
  • Networking topics, including Global Server Load Balancing– it’s like never having to worry about datacenter failures again.

These and many other good nuggets on real world implementations of virtualization and networking practices can be found at the Ask the Architect sites.

Florian Becker
follow me on twitter: @florianbecker