Qatar is building a world-class healthcare infrastructure. The View Hospital, developed by Elegancia Healthcare and affiliated with Cedars-Sinai, is a leading light, setting new standards in medical excellence. The hospital runs entirely on HPE Aruba Networking, creating a secure environment for the latest in medtech, IoT, and smart building management.
“Stability, resiliency, and high availability were our priorities. Aruba’s reputation, and its local support, made it the clear favourite. Plus, Aruba has an exciting five-year roadmap,” said Nasser Alawad, Cluster Director, IT Healthcare at Elegancia Healthcare, operators of The View.
The View Hospital is a leading healthcare provider in Qatar, with 244 single private suites, 12 operating rooms, and 20 intensive care beds. The vision for the hospital was to adopt the latest in medtech and workplace mobility tools and allow a SaaS approach to the best healthcare applications. The strategy was clear, establish a unified network, from edge to cloud, with a single view of operations and granular security policies for the desired expected outcomes:
- Ensures availability and performance for critical healthcare applications.
- Simplifies the seamless onboarding of new medtech and enables SaaS workstyle.
- Strengthens security through network segmentation and role-based access control.
Tapping into the boom in global healthcare tourism
The healthcare tourism market is surging. Worldwide, the number of people willing to travel to find the right treatment at the right price is climbing steadily. The global market is expected to be worth US$53.51 billion by 2028.
In the Middle East, where there is a tradition of wealthier patients travelling to Europe for treatment, inward investment has transformed the healthcare infrastructure. Locals no longer need to travel; many Gulf countries are now thriving healthcare destinations.
Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup and home to one of the world’s busiest international airports is no stranger to welcoming foreign tourists. It has serious ambitions to capture a slice of the medical tourism market, a regional market forecast to grow 8.5 per cent a year over the next five years. Qatar is pitching itself at the top end of the market.
To do so, the country is investing in new facilities, striking partnerships with globally recognised healthcare brands, and hoping to attract the world’s best medical staff. Qatar’s advantage is that it starts with a relatively blank slate and has the resources to invest in the world’s best.
“The View Hospital upholds the highest international standards in terms of an integrated healthcare system, state-of-the-art technology, and modern medical equipment,” said Thomas M. Priselac, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cedars-Sinai.
Creating a new standard in healthcare excellence
The View Hospital is one of the leading lights of Qatar’s new healthcare sector. Aimed at the very highest end of the market, it features 62 VIP suites, including three royal, six ambassadorial, and three presidential suites. All rooms in the 15-floor building come with a floor-to-ceiling view of Doha’s upmarket Pearl and West Bay districts.
The hospital is affiliated with Cedars Sinai in California, one of the world’s leading healthcare institutions. Medical teams at both hospitals will work together in sharing expertise, resources, and best practices to develop procedures that provide patients with the highest standard of care. The two hospitals will work together on training and research.
This technology is in the service of a better healthcare experience. Medical teams have complete workplace mobility, working off iPads with the latest patient data. Surgeons are assisted by Da Vinci and ARTIS pheno robotic equipment, ensuring operations are precise, quicker, and with fewer complications resulting in a faster recovery. Medical imaging taken in Doha using 3T MRI and Open MRI, a state-of-the-art 256 CT Scanner, is shared immediately with specialists in California. The pharmacy and laboratory use robotics to ensure testing and the issuing of all medication is consistent and traceable. All actions are synced with a patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR).
“Everything is integrated, and as much as possible is automated,” highlighted Alawad. “We are not paper-light; we are paperless. For visiting patients, hospital appointments can be booked via The View app. Using the geo-location capabilities of the Wi-Fi infrastructure, the hospital is future-ready for wayfinding services. Updates can be synchronised with display screens around the hospital. The in-room experience is comparable to that of a five-star hotel.”
Overall, said Alawad, the digital experience creates a calm, consistent, and efficient atmosphere.
Enabling secure, digital workflows
A high-performance, secure network underpins The View’s digital workflows.
“We are a fully digital, cloud-first hospital, from A to Z,” shared Alawad. “And that requires a resilient, fully redundant network infrastructure. We need very high bandwidth to enable doctors to access our cloud applications. And the highest security standards to protect patient data.”
The edge-to-cloud network is powered by HPE Aruba Networking. The backbone network is built on Aruba CX switches, from the DC core to the LAN access, while the 101,000 sqm facility is blanketed in Aruba Wi-Fi 6 access points. Network Access Control is managed and automated for the entire network using Aruba ClearPass Policy Manager. In line with the hospital’s cloud-first strategy, Aruba Central's cloud-based network management is used as a single point of visibility and control for all network resources.
The use of Aruba CX switches in the hospital’s on-premises data centre is key. It establishes a robust network that is dynamic and highly automated. This cuts complexity, reduces the time needed to spot and troubleshoot issues, and simplifies the task of integrating new technologies.
The flexibility of the network supports The View Hospital’s SaaS strategy. It enables users and devices to securely connect to any application, whether hosted on-premises in The View’s private cloud or its Azure public cloud.
Crucially, with The View Hospital managing medical data for some of the region’s most important high net-worth individuals, it orchestrates the highest security standards across the network, built in the access points, switches, and gateways.
Aruba ClearPass authenticates, authorises, and enforces secure network access control with role-based network policies. This allows the hospital to create granular access specifically for different users and devices, whether guests or staff, environmental sensors or medical devices. With policy enforcement firewalls built into the access points, security policies can be applied at the very edge of the Wi-Fi point of access. Patches and upgrades are delivered live, in batches, and automatically, avoiding any disruptions to network uptime and healthcare services.
Together, this strengthens the confidence of The View Hospital in adopting new healthcare technology at the edge and integrating new applications. Digital solutions for the healthcare industry are arriving at an increasingly rapid pace, commented Alawad. The View Hospital wants to be in a position to adopt the latest and greatest. The open nature of the HPE Aruba Networking architecture enables the hospital to seamlessly integrate new technologies and third-party platforms.
“This is a long-term solution,” concluded Alawad. “The advantages in terms of stability and resilience are incalculable. We’re confident we’ll see a return on investment within five years.”