More and more healthcare providers are looking to digitize their services in various ways to take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation. Not so long ago, healthcare companies, and indeed patients themselves, were hesitant to embrace the opportunities offered by the Cloud due to concerns about security. Thanks to the fast-moving pace of technological advances though, that has changed quite drastically. Most organizations operating in the healthcare vertical can now see the advantages of Cloud technology for improving the convenience and quality of service for both patients and doctors. This gradual shift of operations towards the online space has naturally occurred alongside a corresponding rise in the awareness of public cloud providers, in particular, one which delivers specific healthcare solutions, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Why the Cloud?
Every industry now uses Cloud technology in some form or another. The possibilities that cloud services open up are effectively endless. Migrating your own healthcare systems to the Cloud will tap into much of the potential it has to offer your business—no matter the size of your company.
In spite of past security concerns, which were entirely historically justified, there are a number of compelling reasons for healthcare providers to look into how Cloud migration could potentially benefit them today. Now the question is no longer, “Should we move to the Cloud?,” but rather, “Which cloud provider should we move to?” This article highlights the benefits of AWS specifically for those healthcare companies doing their own due diligence who are looking at the value in moving to AWS hosting for a more efficient, profitable, and reliable service for their clients and patients. Specifically, because of its excellent support as well as time- and money-saving capabilities through multiple HIPAA-compliant services.
The option to custom tailor the right Cloud solution for business needs has been vital in allowing the developers of healthcare software to get their products to market faster. AWS’s pay-per-use model supports developers with an extensive list of HIPAA Eligible Services to pick and choose from. In addition, AWS is ideal for hosting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications which more and more healthcare providers are turning towards to bridge the communication gap between healthcare professional and client/patient. Ibexlabs has helped many companies—such as Kitchry Health and HeyDoctor—migrate their apps to AWS hosting to optimize on these benefits accordingly.
There are many advantages to undertaking an AWS migration with your healthcare company, these include:
- Access to quality infrastructure and components, with best-in-class security, at a fraction of the traditional cost.
- AWS provides numerous resources and services that are already HIPAA compliant.
- The Cloud platform removes the burden of maintaining expensive physical security controls in order to keep data safe.
- AWS provides purpose-built analytics tools to analyze your patient data without the need to invest in or build your own analytical tools.
- You can start small and scale up as your business grows. This ensures that you aren’t overpaying for resources as demand for your product increases.
One of the most significant benefits of the Cloud for healthcare businesses is access, storage, and protection for massive volumes of secure data storage. Healthcare providers need to process and transmit a phenomenal amount of sensitive data. There is an ongoing push towards greater interoperability across the US healthcare industry. As it stands, however, things are still very fragmented. As a result, individual healthcare businesses should take the lead in ensuring that their data is stored appropriately and is accessible when needed.
AWS has tailored many input, storage, and security services options to achieve exactly this ((e.g., Amazon S3, AWS Direct Connect, Amazon Macie, and Amazon Kinesis Streams, etc.). In addition, AWS ensure the durability of objects. For example, if you use Amazon S3 you gain a durability rate of 99.999999999%. This amounts to an average loss of one object in every 10,000 “ every 10 million years or so.”
With AWS, companies can also conserve resources through affordable archiving solutions, save on-premise space by putting backup servers in the Cloud, and benefit from new methods for managing patient information.
As well as storing data efficiently (at the same time as maintaining high durability and scalability) and remotely in the cloud, AWS is much more secure than storing sensitive data on premise. For one thing, AWS has invested heavily in security, to safeguard the integrity of their HIPAA compliant services. You can also build in governance layers (for example, into Amazon S3) to grant role-based access to infrastructure and environments using Amazon IAM and Amazon S3 bucket policies. Adding in an additional layer of next-level security to ensure any data flowing through the system is secure and accessible only with the right authorization.
On top of access control, services like Amazon S3 provide default encryption and object level logging that tracks all API calls to the object. The API calls are then logged in AWS CloudTrail for easy analysis and consolidation.
AWS Cost Savings
While data security is a prominent concern for any healthcare business, some choose to either outsource their cybersecurity or instead rely upon off-the-shelf solutions to keep their data secure. Amazon offers more robust and reliable cybersecurity than either. In addition, AWS’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculators helps businesses estimate and compare the cost savings they can incur for their bottom line. The TCO Calculators support your migration to AWS. The process works by calculating what you’ll use in line with AWS’s pay-as-you-go model meaning you’ll turn CAPEX into OPEX.
Furthermore, AWS hosting ensures that healthcare businesses meet all of their obligations regarding protecting patient data for a fraction of what it would cost to install the equivalent systems on-premise. Which is why the majority of healthcare software products on the market today are taking advantage of being able to combine the right mix of public and private Cloud services which maximize business potential, host infrastructure securely, and protect sensitive data.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your move to becoming HIPAA compliant, check out our article on Technical Safeguards for HIPAA Compliance.
Ibexlabs is an experienced DevOps & Managed Services provider and an AWS consulting partner. Our AWS Certified DevOps consultancy team evaluates your infrastructure and make recommendations based on your individual business or personal requirements. Contact us today and set up a free consultation to discuss a custom-built solution tailored just for you.