Despite intense concerns about data and HIPAA rules, the cloud is poised to become a big part of healthcare. But much of it is likely to remain on-premises or private clouds, with some reliance on the public kind. A survey from Level 3 and HIMMS Analytics finds growing adoption of cloud for a range of healthcare functions, significantly growing in just the past two years. The survey finds 47% of survey respondents were planning to use the cloud for back office functions, up from 22% just two years ago. Likewise, 47% were planning to use the cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery in 2014 -- up from 31% in 2014.
Jim Livingston is on a mission to bring flexibility to University of Utah Health's data infrastructure. The Salt Lake City organization, which comprises four hospitals and 12 community clinics, relies on close to 400 ancillary systems, many of which are legacy software solutions not optimized to be offered as a cloud service. While keeping those tools on-premises remains the best option for now, Livingston, CTO for the University of Utah and University Health, also wants the freedom to move workloads wherever it makes sense. "When we look at new systems, we are adopting a cloud-first, but not a cloud-only, strategy," he says. "My plan is to give the business the option to do what it needs to do.
Google Cloud on Wednesday opened its latest cloud region in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tech giant now has four cloud regions in the western US, seven across the entire US and 23 globally. Adding more regions to the western US helps Google's customers reach their end users more quickly, while giving them the flexibility and capacity to distribute workloads across different regions. The other western US regions are in Los Angeles, Calif.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and All of Google's cloud regions offer access to three zones. Each zone includes separate software, power, cooling, network and security infrastructure, as well as compute and storage resources.
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"We need to efficiently process the growing volume of data on a timely basis not only to meet reporting requirements but for better data analysis and detection of new signals," suggests Ed Tucker, COO, Acerta Pharma B.V. (a member of the AstraZeneca Group). Cloud technology is bringing these data out from behind their firewalls and making them more easily accessible to innovative technologies like artificial intelligence. By providing a foundation to aggregate learnings across industry, safety organizations will realize the greatest value from their data. By minimizing time and resources needed to manage and maintain safety applications, life sciences companies can instead focus on analyzing this information and turning its treasure troves of data into valuable insights.