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Healthcare Day at Cisco Live 2011 Wrap-Up

For those of you not fortunate enough to join us at this year’s first ever Healthcare Day at Cisco Live 2011, you missed a historic and wonderful event.  This year, the Cisco Live US conference was held at the Mandalay Bay in sunny Las Vegas!   To make things just a little bit better for those of us focused on the Healthcare industry, our “Healthcare Day” debut, far exceeding our wildest expectations.

We started the day with Kathy English, BSN, RN and Director of Global Healthcare Market Management for Cisco.  Kathy provided a brief set of introductions along with an overview of the day to follow along with the Cisco Healthcare partners lined up to present throughout the day.  Next, Alan Cohen, Vice President of Global Public Sector and Industry Solutions highlighted the need to transform healthcare on a global basis.

Cisco Live Healthcare Day 2011 Sessions

Cisco Live Healthcare Day 2011 Sessions

Alan’s message focused on the “Triple Aim” which was first discussed by Dr. Don Bernwick and is undergoing adoption by the  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (CMS).  This three point strategy focuses on “Better Health for the Population”, “Better Care for Individuals” and “Lower Cost through Improvement”.  Throughout Alan’s thought provoking discussion, he showcased again and again how the network is the cornerstone in unifying patients, care providers, pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Manufactures. See Kathy English’s blog last week for more on this topic

Our next technical session focused on Video Architectures for healthcare.  This session laid out both the business and technical architectures necessary for the pervasive use of Video within the healthcare enterprise.  I thought this was very telling as during John Chambers Keynote he reiterated that Video is the new Voice – and how true this is for the healthcare market.

So many times I go into healthcare organizations and when the topic of video comes up, I’m told that there are no use cases to support video.  Well we provided two use cases, one clinical and one non-clinical – both extremely valuable to the healthcare delivery organizations worldwide.  The first was a technical deep dive and architectural discussion of the Cisco HealthPresence™ solution.  The non-clinical solution was a case study showcasing a large video surveillance deployment within two hospitals in Ireland.  Both very informative use cases that leverage the investments of leading video architectures.

Our day was really packed and our next session was an open discussion and working lunch on both the IEC-80001 standard and MDDS (Medical Device Data Systems).  We covered what the ISO/IEC-80001 standard is, and how it can be used to provide a risk management framework for managing Medical IT networks.  The topic of MDDS was discussed and the fact that many healthcare organizations have, perhaps unknowingly created an MDDS, essentially making them a Medical Device Manufacturer.  Rickey Hampton from Partners Healthcare in Boston provided a number of examples of what Healthcare Delivery Organizations may have under their roof and more importantly what needs to be done to address MDDS systems.    Hey guys – you don’t get this information on the streets, and that was fairly evident as I saw more pens in the air than knives and forks!

The next session revolved around the Cisco Medical-Grade Network.  This was both from the perspective of Cisco (with yours truly presenting) as well as from the perspective of a number of Medical Device Manufactures. Our approach was to cover the topic from the datacenter on out to the point of care opening with Gene Baker from McKesson Corporation.  Gene discussed the efforts underway to virtualize the McKesson EMR and PACS applications along with the significant benefits realized by the virtualization and the Cisco UCS platform.

With wireless networks being a key transport for clinical applications, Michael Morgano from Siemens Healthcare described in detail the requirements of architecting a wireless network for clinical applications including CPOE and eMAR.  Both of these clinical applications are primarily delivered on a secure Wireless infrastructure and are necessary for achieving Meaningful Use within the United States.

Next, Steve Baker from Welch Allyn provided an overview of what it takes to architect a wireless network to support Medical Devices from Welch Allyn.  Finally, Phil Raymond from Philips Healthcare presented the viewpoint from the Philips Healthcare perspective as well as the application of the ISO/IEC-80001 standard for risk management of Medical IT networks.  This was a very informative session that supports the Cisco Medical Grade Network series of best practices white papers.

Our final session of the day revolved around Cisco and two healthcare partner Solutions and Cloud Services in the healthcare space.  We opened with a technical deep dive on Cisco BioMed NAC 2.0.  This Solution and Cisco Validated Design dynamically configures the network based on the type of device connected to it.  Next we moved to the Medical Data Exchange Solution which enables the creation and participation in Health Information Exchanges – a worthy topic as this is an area that the US healthcare market is deficient and one that offers the greatest potential for better care and driving down the cost of delivering that care (Remember the Triple Aim?)!

Next, our anxiously awaited discussion of the Cisco Health Information Exchange was covered in depth – including a working demo.  The Cisco HSX solution uses a number of cloud based technologies to bring together suppliers and consumers of healthcare services.  This informative technical session outlined the use of cloud based services to securely and efficiently transform healthcare through the facilitation of a set of healthcare services or mash-up if you will.   The solution allows consumers of healthcare services such as traditional healthcare delivery organizations to consume services from various healthcare focused suppliers – again, leveraging the network as the platform!

Our final solution discussion centered around the Extension Device Messaging solution which can be used to leverage collaborative communication services within the healthcare organization using Cisco Wireless IP phones as well as a number of smart phones.  This IM like experience is something that our healthcare professionals are accustom to using in their personal lives – the Extension Solution delvers the same experience at the level necessary for the healthcare market.  Last but not least, AeroScout covered the use of Location Based Services within the healthcare space.  With the requirements for driving efficiency throughout the healthcare system, RFID has become a key component in a number of use cases.

The sessions were well received by all in attendance – perhaps a little too much information given the time frames involved (7 hours in all).  I’d like to encourage your feedback for topics that you’d like to see Cisco cover at the next Cisco Live Healthcare Day.   With the network as the platform, I’m confident that together we CAN transform healthcare!

Stuart Higgins
CCIE 3194, Healthcare Enterprise Architect, Cisco Systems

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1 Comments.


  1. Congratulations to all who have been a part of this wonderful event. Holding conferences like this will definitely benefit those who are in the Healthcare industry. We hope to attend next year.

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