BlueCat Networks > Case Studies > Medical Technology Company Streamlines Operations with BlueCat's Network Automation

Medical Technology Company Streamlines Operations with BlueCat's Network Automation

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 Medical Technology Company Streamlines Operations with BlueCat's Network Automation - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy - Network Security
  • Functional Applications - Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
Applicable Industries
  • Equipment & Machinery
  • Healthcare & Hospitals
Applicable Functions
  • Field Services
  • Maintenance
Use Cases
  • Leasing Finance Automation
  • Track & Trace of Assets
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • System Integration
The Challenge
A leading medical technology company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenue and over 70,000 employees worldwide faced a complex challenge in managing network connections between its medical devices and service staff. The company had recently connected all its devices to the internet for remote diagnostics and updates, but this introduced several issues. Firstly, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), all connections between medical devices and the company’s servers had to be encrypted, requiring the creation and management of separate VPN tunnels for over 15,000 field-deployed devices. Secondly, the devices, deployed in various medical centers and clinics, were assigned IP addresses by the network teams of each facility, often without coordination, leading to potential IP address conflicts. Lastly, the company’s network infrastructure, shaped by multiple mergers, acquisitions, strategic initiatives, and partnerships, was complex and difficult to manage, especially with the recent adoption of AWS cloud for much of its internal compute.
The Customer
About The Customer
The customer is a global medical technology company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenue and over 70,000 employees worldwide. The company's primary business is supplying hospitals and clinics with a wide variety of medical devices. These devices require periodic maintenance, which was traditionally done by a large team of Field Service Engineers visiting medical facilities on a set schedule. However, in recent years, the company decided to connect all of its devices to the internet, enabling remote diagnostics and updates, and thus requiring a smaller team of Field Service Engineers to maintain a larger fleet of devices.
The Solution
To tackle these challenges, the company partnered with BlueCat. The first step was to transition the company's scattered on-prem DNS resources from Microsoft to DNS Integrity, which involved bringing legacy systems and namespaces under a single DNS administration portal. This laid the groundwork for managing connections to devices in the field. The company's application development team then built a custom portal to manage remote devices through the BlueCat back-end, using DNS Integrity’s robust API. This portal uses Network Address Translation (NAT) and a Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network (DMVPN), automatically integrating host records from remote devices with the BlueCat Address Manager. This solution allowed the company to automatically establish and maintain remote connections with medical devices without the need to constantly adjust IP addresses in coordination with hospital IT teams.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of BlueCat's solution has led to significant operational improvements for the company. The centralized system allows network administrators to automate IP provisioning for individual devices, set aside blocks of IP addresses for entire medical facilities, and maintain an accurate DNS database that is updated in real time. The automation of the DNS back-end also gives administrators the ability to manage the 15,000+ VPN connections required by HIPAA from a single portal. Field Service Engineers can now perform complete audits of device functionality by scanning ports, performing remote launches, and updating firmware – all without the need to go on site. This has resulted in a much smaller, more efficient team, with the cost and resources associated with on-site visits now the exception rather than the rule, offering significant operational savings for the company.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Reduced the need for a large team of Field Service Engineers, leading to significant cost savings
  • Automated the management of over 15,000 VPN connections required by HIPAA
  • Enabled real-time updates to an accurate DNS database

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