Healthcare IT Future is in the Cloud

The healthcare cloud computing market is expected to grow to $5.4 billion by 2017 and increase to about 20% of healthcare computing from the current 4%, according to eWeek and CBR, citing several recent industry studies.

Although studies show the industry has been slow to adopt the cloud (due to several factors), persistent and widespread breaches of protected health information on portable devices and in-house servers may finally be convincing the industry to encrypt data and use cloud-based encrypted email.

Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

In addition to saving money, the industry is beginning to recognize that moving to cloud-based storage systems can actually improve patient treatment times and provide other benefits.

More than half of hospital executives report using the cloud and over 70% of health care providers are either already deploying cloud technology or are planning to do so.

Cloud Email and Encryption Provides More Security

Many data breaches are caused by protected information in unencrypted emails and attachments. Traditional email systems (like Outlook) store inbound messages and attachments locally in files on each user's device. All a thief has to do is crack one password, which can often be done quickly, and they have access to messages and attachments that have been sent and received.

Combining cloud-based email with good password practice gives providers far more time to lock down the data if necessary. Messages are stored in a secure data center, not in files on the user's machine. If a doctor attending a conference leaves her laptop behind, someone who steals it cannot access protected data in emails unless they log into her computer AND her email account.

An interesting question is whether the loss of a laptop that did not have data or emails stored locally on it would even be considered a breach.

Of course, encrypting all outgoing emails makes it even harder for thieves to access protected data in messages.

Greenview Data, Inc. provides secure cloud email hosting, archiving, encryption and antispam.