SMOAD Networks

May 11, 2022

SD-WAN Edge for Healthcare – The right solution?

Most organizations are paving the path to digital transformation by adopting cloud-based services owing to their extreme reliability, performance, and security. There is visible advancement in Healthcare Wide Area Network (WAN) edge infrastructure since most organizations need to support more dynamic networks. According to Gartner, by the end of 2023, more than 90% of WAN edge infrastructure refresh initiatives will be based on virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE) or Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) appliances when compared to traditional routers.

Traditional branch routers cannot sustain strong connections to support a sudden upsurge in network activity within or outside an organization. The use of SD-WAN solution resolves this crisis. Emerging networking trends, the desire to increase automation & agility, and the need to lower operational expenses have contributed to embracing SD-WAN and vCPE as the best approach to manage network connectivity.

SD-WAN is the right networking solution for healthcare organizations that have numerous locations and are remotely connected to multiple medical devices. Besides reliability and efficiency, the use of SD-WAN ensures the transfer of sensitive patient data in a secure manner. During the pandemic, a drastic increase in network traffic was witnessed. Organizations that had adopted the advanced programmatic network approach fared well. SD-WAN help reroutes traffic and balance load to perform all-important healthcare applications effectively.

SD-WAN and Edge in robotic surgeries

Medical Robotics has been in use for decades. In the 1990s, Automated Endoscopic System for Optimal Positioning focused on voice-activated camera control functionalities. The next version of robots consisted of arms that surgeons could control from a computer terminal. Over the years, healthcare solutions have evolved and experienced continuous advancement in handling remote operations, remote medication, online prescriptions, etc. But most surgeons complained about the absence of human touch, which makes precision cuts quite tricky.

In recent years, robot creation and network connection evolution has facilitated successful robotic surgery; doctors can now efficiently carry out medical procedures. Doctors have started using connected appliances and robotics to perform surgeries and scans. For this reason, network stability is of prime importance. Even a short period of network downtime could harm the patient’s health and even lead to death. Surgeons can easily operate robotic devices without any lags when operating inside the same area. But the pandemic has obligated medical professionals to treat patients even from distant locations. This is when things get tricky and the availability of a steady network connection becomes crucial.

By adopting 5G and edge computing, healthcare providers can achieve a high-performing network and application. Successful 5G distribution will require an automated WAN platform that offers the highest performance, like one delivered by SD-WAN. The SD-WAN platform can help connect and combine different compute edges to optimize the traffic and manage 5G cells.

Importance of Security and Network Stability for Remote Robotic Surgery

For a robotic medical procedure to succeed, the network connection must be absolutely steady and free from interruptions. Even the most advanced ML algorithm cannot achieve the required patient outcome without a stable connection. Hence, medical professionals operating from multiple locations must quit using traditional internet services and move to SD-WAN to perform unhindered procedures – even during local outages.

The next most important concern with telesurgeries is data reliability. Data received from the ICU or emergency room cannot be glitched. An entire surgery could be in jeopardy if the attackers successfully modify the data under transit. While 5 G-enabled surgeries promise data security, they still have space for improvement. From assistive robotic surgeries to completely automating remote robotic surgeries, the presence and use of 5G-enabled devices, edge computing, and SD-WAN have enabled medical professionals to deliver high-quality health care from any location. As remote robotic surgeries continue to evolve, a combination of the best front-end application and back-end tech support can help offer advanced types of health care in the near future.

SMOAD devices in robotic surgeries
SMOAD provides a range of solutions, including remote connectivity, unbreakable internet, Inbuilt Firewall, Application Prioritization, and Aggregation of multiple networks (2X4G SIM cards + 2 Wired Internet connections), 5G ready.