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01.12.2012 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 1/2012

Economic analysis of cloud-based desktop virtualization implementation at a hospital

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making > Ausgabe 1/2012
Sooyoung Yoo, Seok Kim, TaeKi Kim, Rong-Min Baek, Chang Suk Suh, Chin Youb Chung, Hee Hwang
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6947-12-119) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

There are no conflicts of interests that could inappropriately influence the authors’ findings.

Authors’ contributions

S. Yoo and S. Kim designed the study, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript. T. Kim provided the data and contributed to the discussion of data. R. Baek, C. Suh, and C. Chung reviewed the manuscript. H. Hee supervised the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Cloud-based desktop virtualization infrastructure (VDI) is known as providing simplified management of application and desktop, efficient management of physical resources, and rapid service deployment, as well as connection to the computer environment at anytime, anywhere with anydevice. However, the economic validity of investing in the adoption of the system at a hospital has not been established.


This study computed the actual investment cost of the hospital-wide VDI implementation at the 910-bed Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Korea and the resulting effects (i.e., reductions in PC errors and difficulties, application and operating system update time, and account management time). Return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR) indexes used for corporate investment decision-making were used for the economic analysis of VDI implementation.


The results of five-year cost-benefit analysis given for 400 Virtual Machines (VMs; i.e., 1,100 users in the case of SNUBH) showed that the break-even point was reached in the fourth year of the investment. At that point, the ROI was 122.6%, the NPV was approximately US$192,000, and the IRR showed an investment validity of 10.8%. From our sensitivity analysis to changing the number of VMs (in terms of number of users), the greater the number of adopted VMs was the more investable the system was.


This study confirms that the emerging VDI can have an economic impact on hospital information system (HIS) operation and utilization in a tertiary hospital setting.
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