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Microsoft HDInsight Joins the BAA for HIPAA Compliance

For those who would like to take advantage of HDInsight — Microsoft’s Azure-based Hadoop service — but have had concerns regarding compliance and security, this news is for you.
HDInsight is now part of Microsoft’s Azure compliance BAA for HIPAA.  In fact, Azure as a whole — including Storage and Azure SQL services — are now HIPAA compliant.  This means that regulatory barriers and concerns over use of Azure services for Healthcare Analytics are down.  HIPAA HIPAA Hooray!   Sorry.  I couldn’t resist.
But this is of particular interest when looking slightly forward, at the frontier of IoT (Internet of Things) applications in the Healthcare Analytics realm.  The cloud, particularly for Microsoft, weighs heavily in the general story regarding these “advanced analytics” solutions.  HDInsight, actually a Hortonworks version of open source Hadoop tweaked to run in Azure, offers as its chief advantage a supported Hadoop capability easily integrated into Windows/SQL Server/Azure environments.  It’s an obvious choice for Big Data storage and analysis if you are already working in the Azure ecosystem.  Couple that with the elastic compute and storage capability of Azure, and HDInsight is quite compelling Microsoft-centric IT organizations looking to expand into the cloud.
As for Healthcare, as regulatory pressure and consumer competition push the industry down the Digital Experience path, the Cloud will increasingly become part of solutions designed to improve customer experience, increase patient safety, and reduce cost.  Microsoft Azure is going to become more and more of a sensible option for Healthcare orgs looking to do those things.

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