Time 4 mins read

Defining the Significance of IaaS in Healthcare: 5 Applications


Healthcare organisations have multiple reasons to collect and store their patient data. It helps to provide evidence-based care and more accurate and faster diagnosis for treatments, besides also avoiding the repetition of unnecessary investigations. Additionally, electronic health records (EHR) support the industry in robust analytics for better healthcare measures.

While the worth of this data is evident, its sheer volume and continual growth complicate its storage in legacy IT systems. Healthcare providers also need robust tools to manage the variety and complexity of EHR efficiently.

Cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) becomes a logical choice in this scenario as it gives organisations secure and flexible access to the latest data storage systems without having to buy, configure and maintain additional hardware in their premises.

Let us look at the top five ways in which IaaS supports the healthcare industry:

1. Reliable Availability
For other businesses, downtime implies loss of revenue, but for a healthcare company, any shutdown can put patients’ lives to risk. Hospitals must have their data and apps available at all times, and they must be able to access patients’ medical records instantly. On-premise servers and physical data centres that are subject to mechanical failures cannot guarantee this accessibility.

On the other hand, IaaS provides a geographically redundant architecture that enables users to keep accessing their critical data at all times through an Internet connection.

2. Scalability
To manage the records of millions of patients, healthcare providers need flexible and powerful storage systems accessible on multiple devices. They also need strategies for better targeting and personalisation of medical treatments.

Workloads are challenging to predict in such environments. If there is a sudden emergency, the staff must readily have all information in its database to manage different medical conditions and contact specialists. Only a robust and scalable data centre can support these requirements.

IaaS simplifies scaling. Whenever a hospital needs additional capacities, it can get more resources from the service provider. If at all the workloads decrease, the infrastructure can be decommissioned at request.

3. Ease of Management and Maintenance
The IT administrators at hospitals can have a difficult time maintaining and managing medical data centres. Occupied in routine maintenance of machines and applications upgrades, they may not be able to focus on improving user experience and developing better technology solutions for healthcare.

When IaaS is used for technology infrastructure, the service provider manages and maintains the entire setup. The provider ensures regular upgrades and also monitors the IT landscape of the healthcare organisation for safe and optimal 24*7 operations. A documented service level agreement (SLA) guarantees support, and in-house IT teams can spend more time in value-generating services.

4. Cost-Effectiveness
Healthcare companies should be able to allocate most of their revenue for better patient care, which involves investment in the right medical equipment and hiring of experienced staff. If they spend heavily on servers and other IT hardware, they may not be able to allocate sufficient funds for actual quality services. On the other hand, maintaining EHR database is also vital for the organisation.

By adopting IaaS, these companies reduce or eliminate their capital expenditure (CapEx) for data storage tools and associated maintenance costs. All required storage bandwidth is offered in the cloud. Healthcare organisations only pay a fixed fee calculated as per their usage, and they are not charged extra for the upgrades provided as part of the package.

5. Robust Security
Although hackers and cyber thieves usually hunt for financial details of individuals and businesses, medical records become their targets too. The personal information of patients can be used for insurance fraud. To avoid such thefts and for the general security of EHR containing patients’ sensitive details, hospitals must block unauthorised access to such records.

IaaS vendors implement robust security measures for all the data and applications deployed in their cloud platform. These also include intrusion detection and prevention to safeguard information against thefts and tampering.

When healthcare companies analyse the potential benefits of IaaS and other cloud computing solutions, they can be sure that many of their competitors have already adopted them. Over the next few years, the organisations that fail to seize opportunities provided by the cloud may get left behind in leveraging new technologies and lose some of their market share in the process.

If you are ready to embrace IaaS for your enterprise, connect with a Tata Tele Business Services representative to know all about its deployment.

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