Citrix for iPhones is Hospital Usage Around the Corner?

Citrix has announcedthe immediate availability of  Citrix Receiver for iPhone.  According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog(TUAW) the “Citrix guys (were) running around the show floor at Macworld Expo this year, surreptitiously demoing an early build of this app to anyone who walked within range.”

So why is the iPhone Citrix app a big deal for hospitals?  Citrix is used at many U.S. Hospitals to provide a secure method for accessing computer information.  Most often people see it used when they are trying to access information on the hospital’s intranet or email from off campus.  At many hospitals Blackberry’s are the only mobile phones that are able to access email from off campus.  Many hospitals were very reluctant to allow iPhone users the same type of email access because of security concerns. 

I have an iPhone and I work at a hospital that currently does not allow iPhones to access hospital email due to security concerns.  I have been keeping an eye on the situation because I would like to access my work email from my phone.  (I really am not a work-a-holic I’m just one of those Gen-Xers who wants everything integrated and available when I want it.)  Unofficially I have noticed and large increase in doctors and medical students carrying iPhones instead of Blackberrys.  I have wondered if/when the number of iPhone doctors wanting email access would tip the IT people into considering them. 

Now that Citrix has a free iPhone app allowing users to access secure applications, it will be interesting to see how many hospitals will begin allowing access to resources using iPhones. I cross my fingers.

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