Cisco Enables Beyond Bring Your Own Device for the Healthcare Industry

April 4, 2012 - 4 Comments

Beyond BYOD

Cisco Systems is announcing a next-generation solution to address an increasingly complex and common challenge in healthcare settings: the need to assure high security and patient privacy, while enabling fast, role-appropriate clinical data access for providers, with seamless connectivity across a diverse array of (mobile?) devices – all at once.

The new Cisco offering is dubbed Beyond BYOD – “BYOD” standing for “Bring Your Own Device.” It enables a healthcare organization to set up and administer secure, unified, any-device access across its entire network – including wireless, wireless LAN, cellular and VPN elements.

Healthcare information infrastructure has been challenged in recent years by an increasingly distributed healthcare delivery model, the rise of electronic patient records and privacy concerns, and the explosion of mobile devices entering hospital networks. Physicians and healthcare staff are driving demand for immediate provisioning of their personal devices from smartphones, to tablets, and notebooks for use in the workplace and integration into the clinical workflow. Indeed, there are over 4000 applications specifically dedicated to the healthcare industry and a Forrester study found 41 percent of personal devices are used to access business applications.  Doctors, administrators, patients and their families all have rationales for accessing an information system – and each is likely to bring a unique device profile. Preference for their own personalized hardware over standardized, workplace-issued devices combined with the inherent need by  medical professionals for anytime, anywhere connectivity – challenges network solution providers to keep up by offering true borderless networks: secure systems that are easy to use and accept all kinds of connection-ready hardware.

Beyond BYOD from Cisco answers the call by delivering healthcare providers, patients and visitors access from any device in any healthcare space, a unified policy across the network, an uncompromised user experience, and simplified IT operations.

The BYOD challenge has confronted IT managers in the healthcare sector for some time, but Beyond BYOD goes beyond simple device acceptance. Cisco has taken a new, holistic approach to managing borderless networks. The result is a top-down, comprehensive approach that can deliver a high-quality experience while allowing management of complexity and scale for healthcare organizations of all sizes – not just the large-scale enterprise.

Beyond BYOD features:

  • A new “Identity Services Engine” (ISE) that helps users introduce personal devices to a workplace network and configure an appropriate access level without hands-on assistance from IT.
  • A new, scalable approach to WLAN infrastructure that supports rich media sharing. It’s IPv6-optimized for seamless roaming without drops and enhanced security. IPv6 compatibility is critical to next-generation BYOD strategy: Cisco VNI predicts 71 percent of smartphones and tablets – 1.6 billion in total – will be IPv6-capable by 2016.
  • Simplified IT operations through a new Cisco management platform, Prime Assurance Manager 1.1, which affords thorough real-time, network-wide views of application performance. A companion management tool, Prime Infrastructure 1.1, aids planning and deployment of Cisco infrastructure.

Beyond BYOD represents a new, more strategic approach to healthcare information network management – one that acknowledges and enables user preferences while anticipating future demands and developments.      

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  1. This was a really good article. I agree that healthcare infrastructure has been immensely challenged! I thought the rundown to the various approached that Cisco is using in it’s Identity Services Engine are interesting.

    We are dealing with the bring your own device ( byod ) from an HIPAA stand point, and how it applied to hospitals who are dealing with doctors and nurses who are texting patient information and files.

    While the large enterprise solutions like Cisco’s Identity Services Engine have a deeply integrates system where the IT department takes control of the device, in a hospital setting I think the doctors will have a large issue with this.

    We are looking into solving the HIPAA issues related with BYOD by using Tigertext ( ) which while not as integrated as the large enterprise solutions, offers some interesting benefits:

    1) Closed network for sending texts, messaging can be archived on your own sever

    2) Messaging deletes itself after a period of time, so losing the device will not open you up to HIPAA related PHI lawsuits

    3) Seems to be a much lower cost solution

    4) Doctors still feel they control their phone and personal information

    Anyways, I think that this is going to be a major security issue of the next few years, and IT managers are going to have to look at all the alternatives.

    Some other resources:

    • Thank you for your comment. Very interesting perspective that is very much appreciated.

  2. I commend all your efforts. Your company certainly knows how to help in improving the health care industry. I hope you continue extending efforts and skills to achieve a healthier society. Your company is announcing a next-generation solution (Beyond BYOD). I believe this technology will be very effective. It will provide high security and patient privacy, while enabling fast, to user. I work for Allegany Optical & definitely I will recommend this to management.

  3. That’s great thing .It’ll be helpfull for prvate health care providing organization.