A recent annual survey by Imprivata, which makes the technology that authenticates those name badges to start sessions with virtualization software from Citrix, VMWare and Microsoft, just found for the first time that a majority of hospitals are using thin or zero clients instead of traditional PC clients.
That same survey found that two years from now, 98 percent of those surveyed will be using thin or zero client as part of their IT strategy.
Thin clients, a previous incarnation of this same idea for reducing the complexity and increasing the manageability of a PC, still required the kind of occasional software updates and patches that drive CIOs to distraction.
The latest zero client hardware won't be found at your local Wal-Mart, but CIOs know the channels where they can find these increasingly commodity-like terminals able to serve up a Windows desktop.
Virtualization is an idea almost as old as computing itself, having been popularized by IBM on its 360 mainframe in the 1960s. Even running virtualization on a PC is not novel anymore. But the move toward a totally virtualized desktop as a mass phenomenon, particularly in healthcare, is just now pulling into the station.