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Cloud Infrastructure Challenges Within Healthcare Data

The amount of data being produced/collected is growing exponentially and is predicted to reach 35 zettabytes by 2020. Instead of every company owning and maintaining physical servers, cloud infrastructure has become a popular alternative.

Health care organizations require continuous innovation in order to remain cost effective, competent and timely to provide high-quality services. Industry experts encouraging adoption of cloud infrastructure can be solution for being cost-effective and securely manage data whether for patient care, research or legal reasons.

Cloud infrastructure refers to an on-demand, self-service Internet infrastructure that enables users to access resources anytime from anywhere. Instead of buying servers to store data, online servers can be rented.

However, there are challenges facing health-care organizations in moving all their data to the cloud.

The biggest issues are:

  1. Security: Organizations no longer have complete control over the security of stored information.
  2. Regulations: There are different regulations pertaining to healthcare information that can vary from region to region.
  3. Integration: How to piece together legacy systems while integrating into cloud infrastructure.
  4. Interoperability: Issues while mass migration data from one storage system to cloud.
  5. Availability: Server outage issues raise questions about availability of data during a certain point in time.

To address the above challenges Cloud service provider’s design focus should be on security principles to prevent data leaks and unauthorized access.

Healthcare Cloud infrastructure providers should care more about:

  1. Data stored in the repository,
  2. Ensure that data is protected in transfer to and from the cloud.
  3. User management to change/modify user access permission on data etc
  4. Comply with HIPAA, HITECH, HITRUST and other State/Federal regulations

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