Connected Healthcare part 3:
Shifting to an Efficient Network with Network as a Service (NaaS)

Healthcare organizations desire a seamlessly Connected Healthcare system, with all of an individual’s health-related information readily available to every care team member who engages with her.  This may seem beyond reach, but healthcare organizations can take practical steps toward it. In this article, the third in our Journey to Connected Healthcare series, I will discuss some of the Network as a Service (NaaS) technologies a healthcare organization can adopt to move from a basic network to an efficient network. I will also dive deep into a use case: fully integrating with cloud services through a Secure Cloud Fabric.

In my last article, we examined what a basic, or traditional, healthcare network might include. Here, let’s look at a sample of solutions a care organization might consider for moving toward an efficient network:


  • Direct private connection to cloud services (a Secure Cloud Fabric)
  • Backup connectivity from 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)


  • Engaging a partner to begin managing wide and limited area networks (WAN, LAN, and Wireless LAN)


  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) 


  • API-based management and administration 

So, what are each of these technologies? Let’s examine each briefly:

Secure Cloud Fabric

  • Secure Cloud Fabric is a one-to-many connection to a global ecosystem of leading cloud services, including Infrastructure-, Platform-, and Software- as-a-Service providers, as well as partner enterprises using the fabric. The connection is separate from the public internet and can be fixed in size or scalable on demand (with consumption-based pricing).
  • This fabric enhances integration with cloud services to improve application performance, collaboration tools, and data security. It can also reduce the total number of connections needed for cloud services and partner enterprises, decrease the total amount of data transmitted and stored (advanced caching), and facilitate simpler application development processes.

Backup 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

  • FWA connectivity is provided through a router receiving a wireless signal from a cellular service provider’s network (the same network used for cellular phones).
  • FWA improves the redundancy and diversification of critical networks–a dig-in may break a wired connection, at which point the wireless backup would provide connectivity until the wired connection can be repaired.

 Partner Managed Network Services

  • Managed Network Services leverage the technical expertise of a scaled network administrator for designing, planning, implementing, and managing wide and limited area networks, typically performed remotely with on-site service as needed. It should include service level agreements for installations, availability, proactive notifications, and time to repair. It should also empower the care organization to monitor network performance.
  • These services allow a healthcare organization to largely remove itself from managing and securing its network to focus on its core mission of providing individual and population health.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

  • EDR detects threats on endpoints, such as mobile devices, PCs, servers, etc., and takes remedial action for them if a problem is detected, for example, an EDR might detect a threatening downloaded application, then promptly notify the user and uninstall the application.
  • EDR enhances the security of endpoints by proactively identifying and removing threats.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

  • A SIEM platform tracks and correlates security- and performance-related information from endpoints and network devices (access points, switches, routers, firewalls) to identify threats, incidents, or breaches across a network.
  • A SIEM provides visibility into security-related information beyond individual endpoints and devices to show how a threat, incident, or breach entered a network and spread across it to determine how to recover and prevent similar challenges in the future.

API-based Management and Administration 

  • Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can allow a healthcare organization to integrate its network or IT Service Management system with partners in its network supply chain, for example, managed service providers, for two-way communication on incidents, provisioning of new devices, policy updates on existing devices, etc. Further, the business logic for completing this work can be augmented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) offered in the partners’ systems.
  • API-based management and administration enables seamless information exchange between the healthcare organization and its partners to accelerate network improvements, and it allows a healthcare organization to immediately take advantage of its partners’ latest advances in AI for network automation. 

With NaaS, these solutions should be provided as an integrated service to the healthcare organization, not as a number of disparate solutions which the organization must struggle to assemble. As emphasized in my last article, it is essential to choose a trusted partner.

Now let’s discuss a use case, fully integrating with cloud services through a Secure Cloud Fabric. To do this, we will zoom into the cloud services portion of our Healthcare Reference Architecture (below).

  • The cloud services portion of our Healthcare Reference Architecture

    The cloud services portion of our Healthcare Reference Architecture

  • As shown, a Secure Cloud Fabric should provide a care organization true control over the quality of user experience, application performance, and data security for its cloud services. The fabric should be a software-defined, private, high-performance connection to the global ecosystem of cloud services (one-to-many for IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), for example, AWS, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Epic, Workday, etc. It should also facilitate connection to the applications of affiliated care organizations, federal agencies, state agencies, and commercial partners using the same fabric and cloud services. Additionally, it should be able to expand the size and scope of the fabric connection virtually in real-time through a web-based interface, or customer service call. Further, it should be able to reduce the total transmission and storage of data through advanced caching and facilitate simpler application development and deployment processes in cloud environments. And finally, it should offer partner management options, from co-management, so a care organization can maintain direct control over policy and configuration, to fully managed, so the organization can use the fabric without training staff and obtaining licensing and management tools. Thus, with a Secure Cloud Fabric, a healthcare organization should be able to provide its medical professionals and support staff with the secure, high-performance connections to cloud services and partners they need when they need them. 

    In our next article, I will examine specific NaaS technologies that can help a healthcare organization move from an efficient to an enhanced network and discuss other healthcare use cases on the journey to truly Connected Healthcare and efficient 4P medicine. 


    The author, Brett Barganz, is a Solutions Executive, for Connected Healthcare, at Verizon. Brett has expertise in leading public service organizations through their visions of change, especially technology transformation for Network as a Service and Connected Healthcare. 

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    Related articles

    Connected Healthcare part 1:

    An introduction to Network as a Service

    Connected Healthcare part 2:

    Moving from a Basic Network to an Innovative Network

    Connected Healthcare part 3:

    Shifting to an Efficient Network with Network as a Service

    Connected Healthcare part 4:

    Enhancing Healthcare Networks

    Connected Healthcare part 5:

    Network as a Service technologies are Innovation Networks

    Connected Healthcare part 6:

    Going beyond your Innovative Networks with Network as a Service

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