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Ensuring secure remote access at Hospital del Mar

The Hospital del Mar is a hospital in Barcelona (Spain) with more than 4,000 employees that is part of the group Parc de Salut Mar. This organisation is located on the Barcelona coast and brings together one of the city’s most dynamic health education, knowledge and research centers.

At the end of 2019, they started looking for a secure solution to replace their current remote access setup, and they found Awingu!

Hospital Del Mar Birds View
The Hospital del Mar is one of Barcelona's largest healthcare institutions.

Punctual remote access and the impact of the pandemic

In 2019, Hospital del Mar used several solutions to be able to give remote access to virtual applications and desktops to a specific group of employees in an exceptional way. They needed a tool that would make this external access more secure, since the current solution did not respond to all of their needs.

After doing market research, they concluded that Awingu was the solution that suited their needs the best, due to its simplicity and affordable price. Thanks to Awingu, the hospital was able to ensure remote access to a group of 50 users in a very simple way and without high costs.

With the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020, the need for remote access grew exponentially and the volume of users increased to 400. Hospital del Mar managed to do it in approximately one week, since the implementation and ‘roll-out’ were very simple.

With Awingu, Hospital del Mar could fulfill its main objective: to have a portal where professionals could connect and have access to all the necessary information and resources in an easy and secure way.

Simple solution for both users and administrators

Prior to the implementation of the Awingu solution, the Hospital’s professionals did not often work remotely, but rather on a very occasional basis. However, due to the pandemic, everything changed and for the hospital it was essential to adapt to this new reality allowing this safe and easy access.

The SSII department highly appreciates several of the many security capabilities that our product offers. One of the features that they are using the most today is two-factor authentication (MFA). Regarding this, Albert Márquez Colomé (SSII and Communications Director at Hospital del Mar) commented that: “We trust Awingu; It is a solution that gives us security.”

Not only the IT team is happy with the tool, but also the users. As Albert explains to us:

“Users adopted Awingu in a completely transparent way. The product is easy to use, secure and it meets our needs (access to applications and desktop). It just works.”
Albert Márquez Colomé
Albert Márquez Colomé
SSII and Communications Director, Hospital del Mar

Another most notable advantage for Hospital del Mar was the fact that they could use the smart card reader (‘Smartcards’) and be able to digitally sign documents while working in the workspace of Awingu. This option was added in one of the recent versions that came out of the product and was necessary for the hospital, so they are very happy that the product continues to evolve and that they listen to their customers.

Furthermore, working with Awingu gives your employees flexibility: they can easily access applications or desktops from any device, even using their personal one (‘BYOD’).

These personal devices are not managed by the hospital, but the IT team is reassured that the connections are taking place securely through Awingu.

This is another notable advantage for the IT team of Hospital del Mar, given that they did not have the resources to provide new devices to all staff and did not want to install VPNs on personal devices either:

“For example, if someone has a virus on their own laptop, we don't want it to spread to the hospital network, so we avoid using VPNs. Using Awingu, we respond to the need for connectivity and avoid security problems”
Albert Márquez Colomé
Albert Márquez Colomé
SSII and Communications Director, Hospital del Mar

Use of Awingu in the future

Since Awingu is allowing the access to legacy applications, the IT team is working on implementing remote access to these through our software.

In general, Hospital del Mar likes the ease of installation and use of the product. In addition, the team thinks that the solution is very profitable: “it does what it should do for an adequate cost and we really believe in the product”, they explain.

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