Healthcare Cloud Solutions: Evaluating 4 Key Components of Data Security

A technical brief for assessing cloud solution providers

Michael Romansky, Carestream Health

The use of healthcare cloud solutions is on the rise. Research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts that healthcare spending on cloud services will reach $9.48 billion by 2020, a big leap from $3.73 billion in 2015.

Several drivers are fueling the surge including addressing medical staffing shortages. Other drivers are cost efficiency, patient facing tools, access to information, telemedicine, and necessary computing power for big data analysis, according to CloudTech. Also, new modalities for diagnostic imaging bring with them increased storage requirements, making the cloud an essential part of an enterprise imaging strategy, according to Winthrop-University Hospital in NY.image of lock on a cloud Continue reading

Cloud Strategy: An Enterprise Imaging White Paper from Carestream and HIMSS

What is your cloud strategy for medical imaging? Two large hospitals see it differently

Joe Thornton, Carestream Health

Cloud strategies for storing and accessing medical images across the enterprise are front and center in healthcare IT these days. The increasing sophistication of imaging technology has resulted in substantial increases in imaging data.

The upside of this evolution is that clinicians have more imaging information available to aid in diagnosis and treatment. The downside is that the vast increase in imaging data is putting pressure on provider data centers everywhere.

As storage requirements increase with every new modality, the cloud is no longer an optional part of your enterprise imaging strategy. It is rapidly becoming an essential component. Our new cloud strategies white paper shares the experiences of two different imaging providers with a cloud strategy. Continue reading

Cloud-hosted PACS Solutions Help Address Medical Staffing Shortages

Access to radiology reports can help eliminate barriers and enable collaboration

Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors

Ignace Wautier, Carestream Health

The number of new innovations in health IT can be overwhelming. Hospital CIOs and administrators must help evaluate new software for referral management, applications for improved transparency, and analytics software. How can HIT directors and hospital administrators decide which technologies are worth investing in? Answer: start with the ones – like cloud hosted PACS solutions – that solve a real problem – like radiology staffing shortages.

Nicola Strickland, head of the Royal College of Radiologists, made a convincing case to The Observer in 2016 for “how the crisis in radiology recruitment will break the entire NHS system in Britain”. And in January 2017, AuntMinnie Europe painted a dire picture of how a hard Brexit would further strain the lack of radiology resources.

Other parts of Europe, especially rural areas, face a similar problem. The shortage of radiologists and other health professionals is driving medical providers with no formal or previous affiliations to find ways to pool their resources and collaborate among their sites.

Fortunately, cloud based services and teleradiology are toppling the geographic barriers. An increasing number of medical health providers in Europe are installing PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems – and hosting them in the cloud. For example, Spire Healthcare, one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UK, enabled cross site reporting using the Carestream cloud. Using different cloud services from Carestream, Spire Healthcare can store and archive data to enable cross site reporting and then distribution of the reports and associated images. Continue reading

Diagnostic Reading #38: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

EHRs and security threats for healthIT and rads taking a leadership role are in the news

Articles include: Mamba ransomware is attacking healthcare, crippling computers by encrypting entire hard drives; University of Texas breast radiologists are calling for the creation of a national imaging repository in the cloud; Apple designers work to expand its HealthKit to aid in diagnosis; Electronic health record data could hold the key to predicting the onset of sepsis; and most physicians are using some digital tools and expect to increase the use of assistive technologies in the near future.

 

New virus disables computers by encrypting hard drives – Health Data Management

A new strain of ransomware called Mamba is circulating through multiple industries including healthcare and crippling computers by encrypting entire hard drives. So far there really isn’t much that can be done except pay the ransom to gain a key to decrypt the hard drive, experts say. Ironically, Mamba emulates protections found in commercial data security products, but uses the protections against the victim.open lock

Continue reading

Heathcare IT, Your Cloud has Arrived Courtesy of Intel (and Carestream)

Preparing for the next-generation of medical imaging data and analytics

Cristine Kao, Carestream Health

Today, the cloud is a grownup with a seat at the IT table. The major issues around the cloud (security, access and speed) have been satisfactorily resolved by industries outside of healthcare: technology, software, financial services, Cloud_imageand retail have been using the cloud for years.

Of course, healthcare does have its own unique issues of privacy, security and access that make it slow to adopt any new technology, and the cloud has been no exception. But progress has been made. In a recent annual study of 125 large and small cloud users, for the first time in 2016, security was not the first concern mentioned. Technology has jumped ahead to meet the challenges of healthcare’s journey to value.

The cloud is an essential part of the healthcare industry’s IT structure/restructure to reduce costs, increase clinical collaboration and speed up clinicians’ access to information. As larger study files boost storage requirements, Intel and Carestream have partnered in Intel’s Storage Builder Program. The purpose of the collaboration is to blend Carestream’s expertise in healthcare information systems with Intel’s technological prowess to increase the performance of Carestream’s PACS and RIS systems and to make them more useful to clinicians.  For example, Carestream recently deployed the new Intel® Solid-State Drive (SSD) Data Center (DC) Family for PCle® P3700 featuring Non-Volatile Memory Express™ (NVMe™) and observed a threefold increase in throughput in that portion of the Carestream Vue workflow.

Continue reading