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Intelligently Compute Outside the “Edge” of Hype (Part of The Cloud Buzzword Series by Medigram)

CIO’s are being bombarded with “education” about “edge” cloud computing; but what does it do and will it really solve your mobile and application latency woes?

In medicine, there seems to be almost an epidemic of made up tech buzzwords that seem to be shopping for problems to apply themselves to. We consider mainstream “edge computing” to largely fall into this category. This is similar to what we inferred in our prior post on the topic of “Serverless”[1]. The Infrastructure analyst Tom Nolle states that “Edge” computing broadly means putting a smart agent close to the point of action, which users define as being the point where information that requires attention originates, and to which the responses are returned. “

There is not a lot of consensus as to the precise meaning of edge computing. Though mainstream edge compute services that are being marketed now aim to blend compute, storage and networking capabilities into one package.

Targeted use cases for marketed mainstream edge computing products include self-driving cars, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence (AI.)

Further, companies such as CenturyLink are marketing “edge” offerings to enterprises, hyper scalers, wireless carriers and system integrators. Specific to hyper scale cloud providers, they are targeting manufacturing control systems, retail robotics and AI-based video analytics

However, the mainstream definition of edge computing definitely doesn’t work in healthcare. You can never expect real time constant connectivity in healthcare where mobile "disconnected operations” is the norm.[2] Further, it would be a patient safety risk if the edge device was an implanted pacemaker and someone decided to hack it. A patient can die in this scenario.

Proposed Edge Component 1: Storage

Image credit

Proposed Edge Component 2: Compute

image credit: IEEE

Proposed Edge Component 3 Networking:

The networking provided in mainstream computing being marketed is for applications to be used predominantly in a desktop context. The networking configuration is designed to replace traditional Ethernet installation; enterprises could theoretically leverage “level 2” services defined below with software defined networking to connect with hybrid environments on-demand, across private cloud, data center locations and public cloud destinations such as Microsoft Azure or AWS. Layer 2 is pictured below whether or not you totally believe in the OSI model.

This all sounds fine in theory; however the analyst Tom Nolle predicts that the systemic changes that are required to bring mainstream edge computing to market rely on the action of network operators.[3]

We call our platform Medigram, Intelligent edge computing. In our case, we’re putting enough processing and capability at the endpoint but still leveraging centralized servers for connectivity and interchange of an interconnected networking environment.

In order to have real edge computing that we've designed, you need to have a device standing on its own at the edge. This is really hard to do in medicine. An edge device needs to process its function when it’s not connected which predominant and current chat apps can’t do in hospital environments. Hospitals are unique in that they suffer from network drops and upload/download delays on an extremely crowded network. These will all remain problematic as medical device and equipment manufacturers, HVAC/environmental, and facilities services providers introduce more sensors, connectivity and algorithms into the clinical operating environment according to Susan Ramonat, CEO at Spiritus.

To wrap it up, in order to make edge computing feasible and actually relevant to your organization, we always encourage you to examine the enterprise cyber risk program of any vendor as well as their compliance capabilities.

We hope this post helps you to discern when and how edge computing applies to your business and use cases.

Eric Svetcov is CSO and CTO for Medigram. Eric is an Information Security and IT authority with International Experience and Deep Cloud Computing Knowledge. He is a recognized leader in the healthcare technology space for building highly resilient and performant solutions with security, privacy and compliance requirements built in at all levels of the solution. Some highlights include Eric’s leadership as a startup veteran whereas he built the security program and IT operations from scratch 4 times. He lives to deliver best in class security program and product; he is adept at building effective security solutions that allow clients to sleep well at night.

In any professional sport whether that is football, basketball, and business, Svetcov knows that offense gets you in the door, but it’s great security defense that keeps you in the game; Eric knows that it is the team that wins championships.

Eric Svetcov has repeatedly built security programs that meet certification programs the first time. He co-wrote the book on how CISOs should perform. He also lead the team that won the race for the first ISO 27001 certification for cloud companies.

Having clients using our solution to save or improve lives electrifies the Medigram team. Eric is driven to improve patient care. He does that by and is widely known for driving cutting edge solutions with embedded market winning compliance requirements into high performance cloud computing solutions that solve customer business problems. Eric shares the Medigram team’s passion for helping all stakeholders win together by bringing deep cross functional leadership to the market. This is to help make stakeholders better at their jobs – and helping them be successful in securing and delivering information quickly on mobile so that teams of doctors may save lives quickly.

Svetcov re-designed architecture and infrastructure for a real-time data analytics product delivering $18MM ARR in its first year, drove IT/Operations/Security that enabled 5x headcount growth over a 2-year period. Eric builds scalable Governance/Security programs, including ISO 27001, HITRUST, HIPAA, COBIT, and ITIL in rapid growth environments.

He was an Advisory Council member for the CISO Executive Network, led the first global Cloud Computing Company (Salesforce) through ISO 27001 Certification and did it again with Mede/Analytics where he also led HITRUST Certification with more than 700 assessed controls. Eric’s deep experience includes acting as Caldicott Guardian, Chief Privacy Officer, and Data Protection Officer.

Eric is excited about applying his experience in Architecture, Solution Design, Security, Privacy, IT, Support, & Technical Operations to build one of the most important companies of our time. At Medigram we are building a new kind of company to solve some of the hardest challenges in medicine; initially targeting to save hundreds of thousands of lives and delay disability for millions more. He is skilled at engendering confidence, trust, and performance with both internal and external teams to deliver within specified timeframes. He believes that focusing on privacy and security and leading it is not only the ethical choice, but also good for customers and business.

Eric’s confidence in building systems, stems in part by his experience teaching cloud security to security leadership in both the private and government sectors. He built the original HIPAA audit program that KPMG used for U.S. Department of Health and Human System audits. He is a member of the CISO executive network and former advisory board member of CISO executive network, where he learns from and co-mentors and collaborates with other experts including through speaking at conferences.

At Medigram, Eric Svetcov is working to build the standard that every organization can aspire to and for developing and nurturing security leaders –he’s always striving with the team on how we can impact and make a difference.

In his off hours, Eric enjoys sports with his kids and spends time on his passion for bringing up standards for cyber security nationally. He continues to spend part of his free time creating training programs and writing about cybersecurity.

[1]Is Serverless "Cloud Native" Right For Your IT Organization Right Now?

[2]Why Mobile Apps Have Not Been Widely Adopted by Physicians;

[3] Separating Hype from Reality in Edge Computing by Tom Nolle:

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