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Jan 19, 2018

4 Trends That Will Impact Healthcare Technology in 2018


Advancements to Improve Patient Care.

Healthcare is one of the nation’s largest and oldest industries.

As a field focused on patient care and treatment, it’s essential for healthcare companies and product developers to remain at the forefront of technological innovations to provide better, faster and more comprehensive care.

Here are four emerging technologies and trends that will shape healthcare innovation in 2018.

1. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the most exciting modern developments in healthcare. This technology changes a viewer’s vision while keeping them grounded in their surrounding reality.

AR technology can have many applications within healthcare. For example, augmented reality can be used by surgeons to help locate the relative location of a tumor within an organ.

Augmented reality can also be used to help patients and physicians better describe symptoms of diseases. Physicians can use augmented reality displays to show patients the potential complications that occur from a treatment or the effects of delaying such a treatment. Augmented reality will help healthcare providers better model, visualize and treat diseases and conditions.

2. Telemedicine

Telemedicine – the distribution of healthcare services or monitoring of symptoms through remote devices – is expected to continue its growth in 2018.

Telemedicine provides benefits in cost and efficiency, especially for populations in rural or geographically isolated areas. Patients who would otherwise be unable to receive treatment due to location can engage with healthcare providers remotely through telemedicine.

Telemedicine is moving from novelty to a real treatment option. According to Mercer, 59 percent of large employers offered health insurance that provided telemedicine services in 2017. Increased coverage of the service has led to rising adoption rates as the practice becomes more available.

Telemedicine has also become more affordable to implement. When combined with increased patient information security and new technologies which make remote monitoring more efficient, telemedicine becomes a much more viable healthcare option.

3. Big Data in Healthcare

Improved technology will also play a role in the collection and analysis of big data.

The amount of collected data in healthcare is enormous. Everything from patient records to treatment outcomes is meticulously recorded, giving healthcare providers large data sets to work with. Analytics provides the ability to sift through and interpret large data sets, bringing quantitative insights to healthcare providers.

Consider the wellness devices or fitness tracker apps that many people are using. The data from these sources may soon be integrated with the records used by primary care physicians to provide a more comprehensive view of their patients’ overall health. This means providers will have the ability to more accurately diagnose diseases, offer better treatment options and predict future complications.

4. Information Security

Information security is a technical hot button issue across all industries and healthcare is no exception.

Healthcare data is among the most sensitive and personal. Specific laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate that patient info is kept secure. Consequently, healthcare administrators must ensure that data is protected from hackers, who are getting more creative in their attempts to access restricted information. To address growing security challenges, healthcare providers will need to enhance and update their IT infrastructure.

Technological advances such as the proliferation of smart health devices bring their own security risks. Smart devices can be compromised if not properly patched and updated. Within a healthcare and personal information context, the compromise of such devices could be catastrophic. As technological solutions further permeate the healthcare industry, healthcare providers will need to work harder to safeguard their networks and devices to solidify their informational security.

Preparing for Healthcare Technology Advancements

With all of the technological innovation that will be impacting the healthcare industry, it’s more apparent than ever the need for a robust and secure infrastructure to power the systems that are improving patient care and protecting their information.

INAP provides affordable, dependable and scalable infrastructure solutions to meet the growing performance demands placed on life sciences and healthcare technology companies. Whether your business needs additional storage options to stay ahead of an influx of data or services that ensure your company remains HIPAA-compliant, our experts have the solution to your infrastructure needs.

Contact us today to learn how your environment will benefit from INAP’s dedicated healthcare technology solutions.

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Oct 18, 2012

HIPAA compliance translated to hosting, colocation and cloud


HIPAA compliance translated to hosting, colocation and cloud

Traditionally the healthcare industry was classified as conservative when it came to IT strategy and spending, however, with the ongoing government reforms the need for innovative healthcare IT solutions is on the rise. As more hospitals and healthcare facilities become more dependent on IT, data center services are becoming a key solution to complying with government reform efforts, and also to ensuring patient privacy.

Healthcare decision makers are not in the business of building data centers, as their focus and primary concerns are quality of care issues. Yet, the selection of a colocation provider directly affects their ability to be successful in achieving cost savings and operational gains. When it comes to multi-tenant data centers (MTDCs) for colocation, hosting and cloud services, it is essential to understand how the vendor approaches HIPAA compliance. Regardless of how the IT landscape continues to change over the next few years, when it comes to reform in the US, we know that HIPAA compliance will never be an option; since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009 it is a mandate.

Focusing on regulatory compliance allows healthcare entities to future-proof their IT landscape as it continues to change; this translates to avoiding the substantial penalties set for those failing to comply. It is important to note that compliance cannot be outsourced. The CXO remains responsible for how the healthcare entity will meet regulations, and the decisions to choose vendors that will satisfy requirements is part of how compliance is measured. To get a more accurate picture of HIPAA compliance and how it applies in multi-tenant data center environments, here is a summary of terms:

Compliance: HIPAA defines compliance related to rules that support the legislation, including privacy, security and elements related to the administrative safeguards.

Protected Health Information (PHI): Information related to an individual patient and his/her medical status. It includes medical records and any associated information that can link medical status to a particular patient, social security numbers, home addresses, e-mails or associated billing information such as account numbers, license numbers or identifying photographs. Such PHI may exist in physical or electronic form, both of which are required to be kept secure, private and confidential.

Covered Entity (CE): Covered entities include any person or organization that collects, transmits or stores PHI information regulated by the HIPAA legislation; examples of CE would be insurance companies, hospitals, healthcare providers and community health information systems.

Business Associates (BA): BAs include organizations that may process health claims, provide utilization review services or provide insurance claim reviews. This includes IT outsourcing services being performed on behalf of the CEs.

As the market for healthcare data center services continues to expand, companies such as Internap help your business meet regulatory and best practice requirements. The task of finding HIPAA compliant hosting plans while securely handling massive amounts of data is no longer a challenge. Learn why Internap understands compliance and security as requirements for success.

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