Healthcare and the edge

Issue 8 2022 Healthcare (Industry)

Technology plays an all-important role in how today’s healthcare providers handle resources and manage medical centres. Foremost is the handling of patient safety and comfort, staff shortages, access to real-time data, physical and cybersecurity, and services availability.

George Senzere

With the proliferation of IoT devices in healthcare, more data is generated, which drives the need to distribute it efficiently and keep it closer to the user. Fortunately, technology solutions such as edge computing are helping healthcare providers address these challenges while providing new opportunities for better patient care.

Research firm IDC echoes the above: “Edge allows healthcare organisations to roll out new features and to be more responsive”.

Digitising healthcare

Another driving force behind edge computing and its context within the healthcare realm, is digitisation. Looking at a real-world example; patient information must be kept safe, particularly as time goes by and they are treated at various facilities.

Data must be shared securely and confidentially between healthcare practitioners, which in turn allows for collaboration, fast-tracking diagnosis of conditions that can enhance or even save lives.

At some healthcare facilities, theatres are connected and monitored 24/7, onsite or remotely, all thanks to edge computing. For example, in MRI rooms or theatres, power cannot be interrupted and they are protected by UPSs and isolation transformers.

These devices are monitored via displays (in these rooms) and on remote mobile devices, providing critical information to medical personnel that contribute to patient safety.

Medical procedures have advanced to a stage where they are bringing our Sci-Fi dreams to life. Today, surgeons are performing with the help of robots. Also, procedures are being performed in hard-to-reach areas with the help of remote experts.

Machines and humans are working together to find solutions to people’s healthcare challenges. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being employed to deliver solutions in months, rather than years. All these solutions require robust networks, and edge computing forms a fundamental part of this equation.

Patient care, optimised

Patients’ rooms are also benefiting from technology innovation, contributing to their overall stay that includes improved comfort and elevated care. Digital footwalls are some of the newest ways facilities put patient needs first. These can be used to explore medical records with clinical staff, and control their room lighting and temperature. On the other side of the room, in the halls, the digital footwalls keep staff abreast of current care information.

Also, with low voltage (LV) infrastructure becoming fully connected and integrated into the monitored infrastructure, the patient rooms become even more connected. All IT and other LV equipment systems such as HVAC in the patient rooms can be connected and the information traced.


Connectivity exposes more attack surfaces to cybercriminals. Every single connected endpoint becomes a potential breach point. Healthcare facilities must take cybersecurity very seriously; every product must have good, embedded security. Products and systems, for example, must be safeguarded with regular security updates.

People form a vital part of security systems and like any other industry, healthcare must consistently monitor and mitigate cyber threats. These require constant and regular awareness sessions and education in an effort to thwart any social engineering attempts to penetrate the hospital systems.

If anything, digitisation in the healthcare sector will accelerate, all in effort to improve patient satisfaction and enhance clinical workflows. Healthcare facilities will have to implement solutions that deal with cybersecurity, while also managing healthcare facilities. These solutions will undoubtedly benefit from computing at the edge.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

What to do in the face of growing ransomware attacks
Technews Publishing Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
Ransomware attacks are proliferating, with attackers becoming more sophisticated and aggressive, and often hitting the same victims more than once, in more than one way.

Texecom launches the Midnight Black Collection
Technews Publishing Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection Products
Working in harmony with darker environments, the Midnight Black Collection has been created for businesses and sites that require or prefer a security solution which offers discreet protection that compliments their surroundings.

SAN market set for growth
Technews Publishing News IT infrastructure
Storage-area network (SAN) market to hit US$ 26,86 billion in revenue by the end of 2029 due to factors like widespread adoption of Hybrid SAN-NAS solutions.

Optimising remote technical support
Technews Publishing Asset Management, EAS, RFID Products
Sanden Intercool Kenya improves efficiency, removes manual processes with FIELDForce from MACmobile, making its technical backup and support staff more productive, while also optimising record keeping.

Free-to-use solar score for South African homes
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice
The LookSee Solar Score is one of the first of its kind to provide insight into the potential of solar power for South Africa’s residential properties.

CA Southern Africa unmasks container security
Technews Publishing IT infrastructure Cyber Security
Adoption of software containers has risen dramatically as more organisations realise the benefits of this virtualised technology.

Gallagher to showcase new Controller 7000 single door
Technews Publishing Access Control & Identity Management Products
Gallagher will be showcasing its latest access control innovation, the Controller 7000 Single Door on its stand at Intersec Dubai from 17-19 January 2023.

Fast, reliable and secure cloud services
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security IT infrastructure
Security and speed are critical components of today’s cloud-based services infrastructure. Cloudflare offers a range of services supporting these goals beyond what most people think it does.

Sasol ensures Zero Trust for SAP financials with bioLock
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security Security Services & Risk Management
Multi-factor authentication, including biometrics, for SAP Financials from realtime North America prevents financial compliance avoidance for Sasol.

Do you know where your data is?
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice
Flow Security focuses on making sure companies manage their data security in real time through automated Data Security Posture Management (DSPM).