Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

Summary: Dell is aiming to take its 5-inch Android Streak into the health-care vertical as part of a broader set of healthcare services and IT gear.

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Dell is aiming to take its 5-inch Android Streak into the healthcare industry as part of a broader set of healthcare services and IT gear.

The move is notable given that physicians are already eyeing Apple's iPad as a way to access electronic medical records (EMRs) and network doctors and patients. As previously reported, the iPad is gaining traction in the enterprise; and the healthcare industry, one of the few verticals that adopted tablet PCs, is leading the charge.

Dell's approach will be to use the Streak as part of a broader portfolio and make it part of an integrated IT package of hardware, software and services. In this scenario, doctors may initially drool over the iPad, but the chief information officer and hospital administrators may favor mobile devices in an integrated bundle that can work in a heavily regulated environment. Starting this fall, hospitals and physicians can order the Streak as a part of Dell's EMR and mobile clinical computing product line. Dell is already touting the Streak on its healthcare and life sciences page.

Among the gadget crowd, the Streak may be viewed as something that would play second fiddle to other devices. It's not quite big enough to be a tablet. And it's a bit big for a smartphone. Simply put, the Streak is a tweener. However, the Streak fits into a lab coat nicely, something that can't be said for the iPad. But that's not the real reason the Streak could be a healthcare hit. Dell is a major healthcare IT player via the acquisition of Perot Systems. Via Perot, now Dell Services, the company runs the infrastructure for 350 hospitals or so. Dell also knows the healthcare landscape---ranging from HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996) to smartphone guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration---and hosts applications and integrates healthcare systems. Simply put, the Streak could be a consumer flop (that's yet to be determined) and still be a hit in healthcare.

Related: Dell Streak review: Sizzle or fizzle?

Among the perks Dell is using to push the Streak into healthcare:

  • The Streak will "integrate seamlessly" with Dell's healthcare bundle and will ease compliance via the cloud. Patient data will reside in a data center operated by a hospital or Dell and not the device.
  • The Streak will fit in a lab coat easily.
  • Onboard cameras will allow for photographs that can be added to an EMR.
  • There are diagnostic applications for the patient with chronic conditions.

As devices like tablets become more popular in healthcare, you're likely to hear similar integrated efforts from IT giants. Hewlett-Packard is likely to offer its WebOS tablet in a healthcare bundle too. Given the grass-roots appeal of the iPad in healthcare, the power of the bundle is a necessary requirement. Integrators and IT giants are likely to bring Android tablets to the enterprise as part of a larger portfolio of hardware and services. Integrated packages that comply with a bevy of regulations may win the day.

How will the Streak play in healthcare?

We caught up with Jamie Coffin, general manager of Dell's healthcare business, and Scott Jenkins, a vice president in the unit, to get a feel for how this Streak effort will play out.

Coffin noted that the strategy for Dell, McKesson as well as other players, is to bring as much data to the clinician at the point of care. Vendors, hospitals and physicians have been chasing that goal for a while. However, anyone that has covered healthcare IT for more than 10 minutes knows you run into a rat's nest pretty quickly. Culture, business processes, expenses, standards and regulations all come into play.

Dell's pitch is to provide an integrated package with electronic medical records, HIPAA compliant data delivery and all the data center work that goes into the background. Coffin after a bunch of false starts in healthcare IT, customers want "an integrated stack." When asked about whether the iPad will be disruptive in healthcare, Coffin adds that the end device doesn't wag the infrastructure behind it. "Apple doesn’t know anything about healthcare," said Coffin, who noted that Dell is the largest healthcare IT company in the world right now.

Coffin likened the healthcare IT overhaul to the move to enterprise resource planning systems in the 1990s. Success hinges on change management, workflow and integration. In other words, healthcare IT rides on all the things that Apple generally doesn't want to mess with.

According to Coffin, the Streak can allow doctors to spend more productive time with patients, authenticate once and move to new sessions. If Dell saves two to three minutes for each patient, it can add up quickly for a hospital. The big problem with early EMR implementations was that it slowed physicians down. The challenge with healthcare IT is that you have to convince doctors that changing workflow helps them. Not even stimulus spending has convinced high-end specialists that the IT headaches are worth it.

Will the Streak work in healthcare? Sure, but all the other things---data center, cloud delivery, privacy and security---have to add up first.

Consumerization: A worry or not?

Jenkins got into more of the nuts and bolts of where the Streak fits in.

One use case for the Streak involves a wrist device that measures blood pressure and glucose for a patient with a chronic condition. The Streak takes the data and acts as a liaison between the data center and the patient's results. In addition, the Streak also calibrates the wrist device. With the calibration and validated data, the measurements are more useful to everyone in the healthcare chain.

On the security front, the Streak is loaded with all the passwords and security keys it needs. The device services as a conduit to the records, but doesn't store them (because that would be a HIPAA headache). As for the technology, the Streak is integrated with Citrix applications and medical record software from Allscripts, a leading player in the space.

"The app acts as a display and a liaison to the cloud," explains Jenkins, who adds the patient can direct the information to his EMR or PHR (personal health record).

My next question was whether this scenario could play out on another device, say a Droid X. Jenkins said in principle this concept could work on a Droid, but there are multiple applications involved and smartphones largely feature apps that are glorified xml browsers. "What we're trying to do is evolve what an application can provide," explained Jenkins. It should also be noted that healthcare apps developed by Dell and its partners will be Streak specific. Why? Dell is trying "to develop solutions that you could really deploy," said Jenkins.

In other words, this information could be passed along on other devices, but there are no guarantees it would meet regulatory requirements. A lot of integration and regulatory compliance needs to happen to make that aforementioned scenario a reality. Dell's bet is that real use cases and integration will matter more than gadget lust for some device that doctors will want to bring to work.

Does that mean that consumerization is toast in healthcare? Not necessarily, said Coffin, but "it won't play out the same way." "In a regulated industry, consumerization is a lot harder," he said. "You can't move healthcare data to the client and random devices need to build in security and privacy."

My take: Dell has the opportunity to make the Streak a quasi-BlackBerry in healthcare. Consumerization could catch up to the Streak at some point, but Dell could have a nice running start before it does.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Dell, Health, Legal

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  • Not just healthcare

    Any industry with people who have half a brain will consider the Streak and other Android devices.
    tonyhunterajh
    • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

      @tonyhunterajh

      For any Android device, they better make sure that all Google spyware is disabled. Would not want to add health information to everything else they know about you.
      jorjitop
  • A well targeted niche market may be ideal.

    The key to that is being well targeted and providing solutions others can't or won't.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

    Dell will miss the boat on this and so will HP. Neither company nor their people have many hours spent in a variety of healthcare situations. Hospitals already have Laptops on movable trays (COWS). The device is too small, and not versatile. I predict a flop.
    Neutron_boy
    • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

      @Neutron_boy Thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post..
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      disturbforce
      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

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      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

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        audreimckay
  • ROTFLMAO!!! It's a Roid..

    Roid offer zero security, zero quality, it's the Wild West without a sheriff... Information security in healthcare is crucial. Roid fails at information security. Big Fat Flop.
    i8thecat
    • At least it's not a CrApple Product!

      @i8thecat You know meant to look nice and not really do anything useful. Dell is already heavily invested in the medical industry whereas CrApple won't be able to wear it's rose colored glasses under hospital regulations!

      Always know when I see your name trolling anything but CrApple products to see you flopping on the floor making a fuss about how a CrApple competitor doesn't have a chance in a field it already controls! lolz..... ;)
      i2fun@...
      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

        @i2fun@...

        Grow up.

        "Always know when I see your name trolling anything but CrApple products to see you flopping on the floor making a fuss about how a CrApple competitor doesn't have a chance in a field it already controls! lolz..... "

        And if that garbled, unintelligible, rambling, nonsensical sentence is indicative of your mental processes, that explains a LOT.

        P.S.:
        http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/apple-patches-facetime-redirect-security-hole-in-iphone/7290?tag=nl.e540
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

        @DeusXMachina I write those just to confound and amaze you. Which they seem to do very easily! lolz..... You're always there like clock work, like you most likely live in a insane asylum where they periodically let you out the rubber room for exercise. Let's just say to normal people able to conjugate the meaning of a sentence meant to confuse and confound idiots such as yourself, it's an indicator that they do indeed work! ;) ....the Dell Streak have you actually held one in your creepy little hands? NO! ....it's got cooties and is untouchable by iFantoid hands!

        Android OS is seen as the great Socialist Lie perpetrated on CrApple true Fascist pigs like yourself without a brain of your own to detect or avoid the menace that is Free Open Source Software until CrApple gets a hold of it and rips it to shreds!

        I'm bored... so bye so live in another ZDNet Thread for your rubber room break time! Bye!!! :D
        i2fun@...
      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

        @i2fun@...<br><br>So to paraphrase:<br>1) You meant to write like a drunken idiot. You did it on purpose, and<br>2) I appear where you are, which you claim is an insane asylum. That explains a lot.<br><br>"Let's just say to normal people able to conjugate the meaning of a sentence meant to confuse and confound idiots such as yourself, it's an indicator that they do indeed work!"<br><br>Um, you don't "conjugate" sentences, you idiot. You conjugate verbs. Do you even know what that word means?!? Oh, let me guess, you MEANT to use it incorrectly, in order to confound me. RIIIIIIIGHT.<br><br>"Android OS is seen as the great Socialist Lie perpetrated on CrApple true Fascist pigs like yourself without a brain of your own to detect or avoid the menace that is Free Open Source Software until CrApple gets a hold of it and rips it to shreds!"<br><br>Um, yeah, except for the fact that I, unlike you, actually OWN several android tablets. You were saying?<br><br>"I'm bored... so bye so live in another ZDNet Thread for your rubber room break time! Bye!!! "<br><br>So you have said repeatedly, and yet here you are. Again. Proving your utter ignorance of:<br>a) computers<br>b) OSes<br>c) IT<br>d) English, and<br>from elsewhere on ZDN: China.<br><br>and we might as well add:<br>e) Apple, and<br>f) Android tablets.<br><br>BTW, if you want to at least have a single (lame, prosthetic) leg to stand on, DealExtreme has the Eken tablet on sale for a pretty reasonable price (though with a little leg work (difficult, I know, what with the aforementioned peg leg) you can find it direct from China for even less, especially in bulk quantities, like I bought it.)<br><br>As a second aside, since you appear not to know how to use emoticons, <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"> does not mean lolz (what are you, a 10 year old girl?) it means innuendo or hidden meaning, as in "wink wink."<br>Tard much?
        DeusXMachina
  • Give it to the nurses

    For those of us in Healthcare IT, the true test is whether the device slows doctors down and is easy broken by nurses. Secondly - how can the data that appears on it be secured AND is it easily supported?

    Bottom line on ALL these devices:

    They are not durable.

    They don't work with Healthcare IT infrastructures and systems.

    They are not friendly to being secured/managed.

    They aren't easily supportable/maintainable by IT shops.

    The last thing you want to hand to a nurse is something with a camera in it!!!
    GuntherGump
  • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

    Comments above about laptops on carts and giving it to nurses miss the boat. As a healthcare provider with experience with the EMR, I would welcome a larger-than-a-cellphone, connected device. iPhones are terrible for clinic use because they are too small. Laptops are too big. Nurses can use the laptops on carts because they work from a location-centered environment (i.e. the floor). In an outpatient clinic, the provider needs the information in the exam room, in the conference room, maybe even the bathroom. The Streak would be a great device if the IT people will certify it as adequately secure (which it certainly should be if the WiFi network is set up well).<br><br>Past tablets for clinic use have been failures because they were too big. The iPad is perhaps a little closer, but the reality is that healthcare IT is based on Windows (or even DOS) based applications. The iPhone OS will never provide the openness of the platform that is needed to accommodate the proprietary applications that will be used in the healthcare environment.<br><br>Just my 2 cents' worth, as someone who is in the trenches.<br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/happy.gif" alt="happy">
    YepThatsMe
    • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

      @YepThatsMe<br><br>"The iPhone OS will never provide the openness of the platform that is needed to accommodate the proprietary applications that will be used in the healthcare environment."<br><br>That is a TOTAL contradiction of terms. Openness is the exact opposite of proprietary. By definition, unless the creator of the proprietary applications actually releases something, there is little hope that another application can hope to interface with it without a huge amount of work reverse engineering the API. That said, in what way are you claiming that the app development process is not open enough, let alone HTML5?
      DeusXMachina
      • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

        @DeusXMachina I think he means the <i>platform</i> is open, so there are more development resources healthcare players can draw from. Primary applications would be tailored, i.e. "proprietary" to the provider or to the staff of hospitals where they are deployed in order to get the broadest acceptance.
        Get-Smart
  • Healthcare and Enterprise IT: the real surpirse

    I was reading the articles categorized under DELL's Streak Plans from ZDNET's home page.

    Some surprises I noted that others seem to have missed

    First go and look at Dell's Health and Sciences section of their web site. Despite what one ZDNET writer blogged I found it impressive. But that was not the surprise.

    The surprise was the the DELL Streak is an Android device,
    not Microsoft Windows at all.

    Again, no Microsoft Windows. So we have in the real business world, an Enterprise-level package of products and services that, at the User-level, does not include Microsoft Windows XP or 7.

    The Second surprise. The amount of players in this field
    Given the latest economic down-turn, and the slow churn back up from the bottom, this is good news. For the IT industry this is a real opportunity for growth.

    As I continue to research who is who in this new field of Enterprise Healthcare going forward, I see little mention of Microsoft Windows XP or 7 at the user-level.

    Another ZDNET blogger mentions that Microsoft plans a release of a tablet-like device in 3 years. That is a life-time in the IT world. Seems like Microsoft not Dell is the one that is really missing the boat here.
    daniel.pereznet
  • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

    Consumers won't touch this second rate, old/dead version of Android driven piece of junk.

    Can't see Commercial doing anything different.

    The only thing that might save tablets for Healthcard would be secure remote login via web or Citrix, and for this - the Streak is too small.
    neilpost
  • No one's mentioned important stuff...like software

    iPad is good for consumers. But what if a hospital developed an app dealing with problems unique to them? With an iPad there's the approval process before anyone could use it. Not to mention the hospital might want to sell it. <br><br>And while they could sell it on iPad remember, Apple doesn't allow side-loading of apps. So they would wind up paying for their own app! Android and the Streak deals with this entire senario from the gate.
    tallbruva
    • RE: Dell's enterprise Streak plan: Target verticals like healthcare

      @tallbruva<br>Um, HTML5.<br>Period.<br><br>And BTW, it does not need to use a specialized app, just a remote login client for a server side app. Developed and sold by whoever wishes to do so.
      Nice try at cherry picking based on your perceived, yet inaccurate, view of the iPad's shortcomings.
      DeusXMachina