Typically, medium and large-size Healthcare providers manage many medical facilities across multiple regions. These providers deal with massive amounts of patients’ sensitive information that must be stored securely. They also provide secure access to local and remote users from various locations to access the patient’s information.
Based on the above information, we can see what some of the essential requirements for healthcare applications are:
- Doctors need access to complete information on a patient’s electronic health record (EHR), prescriptions, test results, and imaging so that they are better equipped to find the correct diagnosis and identify the best course of treatment.
- Data-driven decisions based on substantial information sets can help healthcare professionals and researchers to spot patterns, uncover insights, and deliver a higher standard of care. The cloud provides unprecedented scaling, bandwidth (BW), data integration, and access advantages.
- Healthcare providers give access to third-party vendors and clinics to provide patients’ information.
- Healthcare mergers and acquisitions combine two or more healthcare companies, hospitals, or physician practices. Typically, merging entities aim to lower healthcare costs and improve the quality of care through these transactions.
Figure 1: Healthcare Cloud Architecture Example
Remote Access and Encryption
Clinics and hospitals have patient data stored in the cloud to be accessible in real-time and meet compliance requirements. This requires healthcare providers to provide remote access to doctors and do end-to-end encryption to secure patient-sensitive information.
High Bandwidth for Large Data Sets
Medical Records could consist of medical images such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and mammograms) high BW is required to access these applications from on-premise to the cloud.
Efficient Connectivity for Latency Sensitive Applications
Doctors need to access patient information in real-time for telehealth use cases:
High-speed data connections and low latency management information systems are essential for remote surgery.
During an operation, a doctor can guide a surgical instrument into the best position for obtaining, for instance, a sample of suspicious cells.
Health-Care organizations offer cloud-based services or apps that need to connect these services to their affiliations (retail clinics) or third-party vendors and partners’ networks. These third-party vendors and affiliations networks were designed independently, resulting in a high probability of overlapping IP ranges.
Merger & Aquisitions
Healthcare mergers and acquisitions combine two or more healthcare companies, hospitals, or physician practices. Typically, merging entities designed independently, resulting in a high probability of overlapping IP ranges.
Cloud to On-Prem reachability and vice versa
Clinics and hospitals have patient data stored in the cloud to be accessible in real-time and meet compliance requirements.
Highly Available and Resilient Network
SLA requirements are strict for any healthcare provider since they manage critical infrastructure and must ensure that data is always available. This requires a highly resilient network that provides redundancy across different regions and clouds.
Alkira Cloud Area Networking for Healthcare
Alkira seamlessly solves all the healthcare providers’ network requirements and challenges mentioned above.
Alkira Cloud Area Networking is the first global unified multi-cloud network delivered as-a-service. Alkira allows healthcare customers to quickly onboard their on-premises infrastructure leveraging various methods, including AWS Direct Connect, Azure Express Routes, and IPsec Connections from third-party vendors or Hospitals (healthcare providers) into the Alkira Cloud Exchange Points. At the same time, customers also connect their cloud workloads (VPCs, VNETs) to the Alkira Cloud Exchange Points achieving seamless high-bandwidth multi-cloud connectivity for healthcare applications. Alkira’s solution also allows customers who want to inspect or steer the traffic between on-premises to cloud or multi-cloud environments to use the policy drive framework to inspect or steer traffic as per the requirements.
Figure 2: Alkira Cloud Area Network for Healthcare
The above architecture diagram shows a high-level topology for a typical healthcare provider leveraging Alkira Cloud Area Networking. On the on-premises side, hospitals and clinics or third-party vendors would build connectivity into the Alkira CXP using either private connections like Direct Connect or Express Route or IPsec connections. On the cloud side, the connections will be from the VPCs/VNETs to the CXP, where the medical applications exist. Once this is completed, end-to-end connectivity is established between the on-premises and cloud environments. Customers can also choose to inspect traffic using firewall as per their requirements using Alkira’s policy-driven framework.
Alkira Solution Benefits
Alkira provides the benefits of High BW connectivity to cloud applications from on-prem; customers can scale up and down based on their traffic requirements. This can help access large medical record images, X-rays, or patient scans.
Overlapping IP addresses
Alkira solution provides extensive NAT capabilities to help solve the requirement for overlapping IP addresses. The solution provides the granularity to match required conditions and then adds NAT. Third-Party vendors require those NAT configurations on the healthcare provider side. This helps when third-party partners need to access the medical applications and use the same IP address space.
Customers can connect to the Alkira CXP in the nearest region depending on where the applications exist and then leverage Alkira Backbone to have low latency while connecting to these applications. This can help with real-time surgeries and real-time imaging requirements.
Alkira can provide isolation of workloads and communication from the third-party vendors that a healthcare provider partners with. Traffic across segments can be inspected as per requirement. If the provider wants to maintain an isolated network for the Third-party vendors, this can be done quickly.
High availability and Redundancy
Alkira infrastructure is highly resilient and redundant and can spread across multiple regions and availability across multiple clouds like AWS, Azure, GCP, OCI, etc. This will allow the providers to meet their critical SLA requirements.
Seamless Firewall Integration
Alkira provide seamless integration with vendors like Fortinet, Check Point and Palo Alto for traffic inspection for any type of traffic flows.
Alkira provides encryption for the data and secure access capabilities to accessing cloud applications which help the providers maintain data integrity.
Automation with Terraform
Network Infrastructure deployment at a large scale requires automation, and Alkira helps to solve this wherein the customer can use terraform to provision the network infrastructure for Alkira.
Alkira Cloud Area Networking infrastructure provides an easy and secure solution for healthcare providers. Reach out and schedule a demo today to learn more about how Alkira can help simplify cloud area networking for your organization.
You can also try our Cloud Insights tool for free, giving instant inventory and insights into your cloud networking resources.
Ahmed Abeer is a Sr. Product Manager at Alkira, where he is responsible for building a best-in-class Multi-Cloud Networking and Security Product. He has been in Product Management for more than ten years in different big and small organizations. He has worked with large enterprise and service provider customers to enable LTE/5G MPLS network infrastructure, automate Layer 3 Data Center, enable Next-Gen Multi-Cloud architecture, and define customers’ Multi-Cloud strategies. Ahmed’s technical expertise in Cloud Computing and Layer 2/Layer 3 network technologies. Ahmed is a public speaker at various conferences & forums and holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering
Deepesh Kumar is a Solutions Architect and product specialist in the computer networking industry with over 6 years of experience. He currently works as part of the post sales team at Alkira and focuses on working with customers to design and deploy the Alkira solution. Prior to working here , he worked at Viptela which was acquired by Cisco Systems. He holds a masters degree from San Jose State University
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