Hybrid Cloud in healthcare

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
29 March 2019

Moving to a new digital era

NHS and the Public Sector
The NHS has undergone a substantial digital transformation over the past few years, from building accessible and mobile services to upgrading patient record systems. Historically, the healthcare industry has relied on legacy infrastructures, but with the number of technological advancements in progress, more sophisticated IT infrastructures are required to bring them forward into a new digital era.

With the UK Government’s ‘Cloud First’ policy, all public sector organisations must consider cloud services before any alternative IT solutions. This has led to many subsections of the NHS adopting the cloud, and more recent interest in Hybrid Cloud solutions.

Hybrid solutions
Hybrid Cloud is a solution that brings together multiple cloud or on-premise environments to increase efficiency. With Hybrid Cloud configurations, data is spread across various platforms, allowing applications and workloads to shift between them.

Why Hybrid Cloud?
Hybrid Cloud adoption in the healthcare industry is predicted to double over the next two years, as organisations start to see the benefits of using an integrated IT infrastructure.

In healthcare, Hybrid Cloud often combines cloud computing with on-premise IT, meaning that it is possible to keep some resources ‘in-house’ and to use cloud solutions for other applications. Healthcare systems need to be linked together for ease of communication and transferring information across teams and departments. As some applications are too expensive or critical to move to the cloud, internal IT services are still used in some instances.

Integrated infrastructure
Cloud solutions can be easily set up and configured, meaning that applications can go live much faster than traditional platforms. Using Hybrid Cloud makes it easier to respond to bugs, carry out patches and roll out any updates across multiple platforms with an integrated infrastructure.

With sensitive patient data at the top of everyone’s agenda, Hybrid Cloud helps organisations to meet compliance standards and also provides the security needed to protect against cyber threats. It also provides flexibility, scaling on demand and ease of management in day-to-day operations.

What’s next?
NHS and private healthcare departments certainly won’t make a sudden transition to the cloud, but a steady, integrated approach will certainly improve the way that systems and applications operate, especially as new technologies emerge.

Blockchain and AI are set to revolutionise the healthcare industry over the next decade. AI is expected to enable machines to sense, learn and act so that they can perform clinical functions. Blockchain also has the potential to transform healthcare by increasing the security and privacy of electronic medical records.

The healthcare industry is certainly moving to a new era.

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