Africa Went Mobile, Hospitals Need to go Cloud

By Karin Ratchinsky
02:00 PM

Africa has 433 million cell phone subscriptions and only 12 million landlines. Africans have enthusiastically adopted mobile technology because it is accessible, scalable, cost effective and most importantly – it is available. When technologies emerge that make our lives easier and more connected, we adopt them - so should healthcare. By not investing in cloud solutions, today’s healthcare providers are theoretically building the landlines of Africa.

Out of eight major industries, healthcare ranks 7th in terms of cloud adoption, just ahead of state and local governments.  While corporate America accelerates adoption of the cloud, the healthcare industry shies away, claiming security concerns as the barrier. However, of all healthcare breaches the HHS has reported, only 6 percent were due to hacking, while the rest were due to theft, loss and improper disposal. For healthcare providers, cloud technology enables security measures that are far more sophisticated than the lock and key that often stand between laptops, backup tapes, and physical patient records today.

How can the cloud make life easier for the healthcare CIO?

  • Providers can leverage economies of scale and pass on the cost savings as cloud is typically a pay as you go model
  • The technology scales as providers’ needs evolve, both from a bandwidth and connectivity expansion standpoint
  • Improved application performance and management with distributed delivery models and caching and turn-key lifecycle and software upgrades.
  • Transitions your organization to an operational expense model vs. capital outlays needed to build physical infrastructure, i.e. data centers
  • Minimizes the risk of stolen information from physical files and mobile devices
  • Enables mobility and improved flexibility to scale to the end patient for records sharing, telemedicine, and beyond
  • Enables data sharing regardless of system type
  • Access on-demand computing power and sophisticated analytics tools for reporting, creating intelligent healthcare data
  • Cloud solutions are resilient, ideal for businesses like healthcare that depend on uptime
  • Provides cost-effective storage and management of high volume images (PACS)

Cloud is inevitable. Cloud is transformative. Cloud is highly beneficial. Cloud can empower IT departments to focus 90 percent of their attention on becoming value-added partners within the organization instead of on maintenance, infrastructure, and updates.

To start weaving cloud into your IT strategy work with your network provider to understand what public, private and hybrid connectivity options enable security, connectivity and performance today.

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