Cloud for Healthcare
Solutions for common concerns – not only in healthcare organizations
Hospitals, doctor’s offices and other players in the healthcare sector process and store large amounts of data, around the clock. The extensive data sets contain a large part of health data, which are considered to be particularly sensitive and must be treated confidentially.
Digitization promises great benefits for the healthcare system, but is slowed down by reservations. What is allowed? What isn’t? There are a lot of questions. And there are too few clear answers. One thing is certain: digitization in the health sector is unthinkable without the trust of patients, doctors, hospitals, authorities, legislators and other stakeholders.
In the midst of this tension are cloud services. Their potential is huge: cloud services make many digitization initiatives much easier. Costs can be reduced and efficiency increased. In addition, state-of-the-art, highly scalable solutions with the highest security standards and reliability can be built for the provision of healthcare services, the development of new forms of treatment and – last but not least – for the personalized care of patients. The IT infrastructures used are state-of-the-art in terms of functionality and cyber security, even without the health institution having to set up and operate its own IT and security infrastructure itself.
These benefits can be contrasted by challenges of a different nature. The data is stored by the cloud provider. Reservations in this regard are intensively discussed in the public debate: The cloud is problematic in terms of data protection as well as with regard to medical secrecy; and links to foreign countries would hinder their use.
Switzerland has a culture where health data is highly valued, and that’s rightly so. Therefore, the focus is on the following basic findings and important requirements:
- Firstly, in the context of health data a great deal of risks may be triggered
- Secondly, patients must be protected from misuse of their data
- Thirdly, patients should be allowed to decide whether others can view their data
- Fourthly, the patient data should remain within the doctor’s sphere of influence
- Fifthly, high security measures are needed to protect patient data.
These requirements and the values on which they are based must be upheld. However, this does not mean that the cloud should be discouraged. On the contrary. healthcare institutions can overcome legal challenges – thanks to the high-quality and high-security cloud services available today. But the public discussion about the cloud in healthcare suffers from misunderstandings.
In our white paper “Cloud for Healthcare”, we show that certain reservations discussed in the public debate do not stand up to legal scrutiny.
(On the initiative and with kind support of AWS)