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Fort Knox of healthcare data

In the Healthcare Cloud, companies store and process their information in compliance with data protection laws and regulations

May 31 2021Magdalena Groneberg

The public cloud for healthcare data

Processing healthcare data in the public cloud? For many doctors, health insurance companies and other companies, this is way too risky. They are still held back by data privacy and compliance concerns. As the first public cloud that complies with data privacy laws and regulations, the Telekom Healthcare Cloud is the Fort Knox of healthcare data.

Secure public cloud for health data

Two women, one of which is a doctor are sitting at a desk and are looking at an iPad

Digitalize medicine, heal with data: AI developed by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is capable of identifying correlations and patterns in patient data that would otherwise be almost impossible to detect. To do this, it compares data on previous illnesses, lifestyle and disease progression of many patients and suggests the best individual therapy to doctors. Powerful technologies such as cloud computing, AI, and big data can dramatically improve our healthcare - as penicillin or X-rays once did. What sounded like a remote prospect for a long time is already finding its way into practices, clinics and health insurance - and ultimately helps those in need by making the treatment not only more individual but also more effective.

Digitalization versus cost

Many hospitals and practices are already using teleconsulting services to discuss with peers and gain additional expertise. Teaching hospitals stream operations live over the internet in lecture halls, digital health apps (DiGAs) help manage chronic diseases. Electronic patient records (ePA) will also become increasingly important in the future for doctors and clinics as well as for health insurance companies. Companies and their IT service providers want to drive the development of digital offerings and use new technologies to offer their patients and insured persons the best possible treatment - e.g. with the help of artificial intelligence or telemedicine online. At the same time, the IT budgets of hospitals and clinics have been stagnating or decreasing for years. Setting up even basic infrastructure technology and IT systems such as an integrated SAP ERP or a hospital management system (HMS) on premises is utopian for most operators: too expensive, too complex to manage and secure. In addition, the IT departments are understaffed and lack the specialist knowledge.

Maintaining a duty of confidentiality: balancing act for holders of professional secrets

When the server room in the basement becomes too expensive, private or public clouds come into play. All companies and individuals involved, whether they are research companies, health insurance companies, hospitals, IT service providers or developers of digital health applications, face the same dilemma: it cannot get more personal than dealing with sensitive healthcare data on a daily basis. This information must always be well protected and, of course, processed and stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The collection and processing of sensitive data is a balancing act and any failure can be costly: Companies need the cloud, but the regulations and laws governing professional secrecy are strict, and a breach or data leak could result in huge fines or even a custodial sentence. The confidentiality obligation also applies to digital data.

Public and yet private

Two hands in surgical gloves

The Telekom Healthcare Cloud offers the industry as well as patients the right level of data protection. It is the only public cloud in which healthcare institutions and companies can securely store and process their sensitive data. With the agreement on the protection of secrets, Telekom undertakes to keep visible data confidential. Data access is reduced to the absolute minimum necessary. There is also the option to encrypt the data. This means that the cloud complies with legal requirements such as doctor-patient confidentiality.

The Healthcare Cloud is certified to ISO 27001 and TCDP 1.0 and has been awarded the Trusted Cloud seal of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. This applies both to the physical IT security of the data centers and to strict compliance with data security in accordance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The data will not be transferred outside European territory. This gives companies the necessary flexibility when it comes to digitalization, as they can rely on a professional and highly secure provider and benefit from all the advantages of a public cloud. And the high level of security also gives patients a good feeling. After all, medicine is always a matter of trust - not only with regard to the relationship with the doctor, but also with regard to the safekeeping of stored data.

More flexibility and costs under control

The benefits of a public cloud are clear: more flexibility, efficiency, productivity and scalability at lower costs. As a result, companies are increasingly drawn to cloud computing as part of their digitalization strategy. Health insurance companies, for example, have access to cloud platforms tailored precisely to their needs. Insurance companies use them to process both health data and information on internal projects centrally, efficiently and in compliance with data protection laws and regulations. In this way, they can offer patients innovative services tailored to their needs, expand their range of products and services and improve patient satisfaction in the long term. At the same time, this allows them to keep an eye on their own business processes on an ongoing basis. This allows them to optimize their business activities and facilitates the achievement of their business goals. According to a recent survey by the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the healthcare sector is well aware of the value and benefits of public cloud solutions. For example, 38 percent of respondents stated that public cloud solutions are currently a high or even critical priority.

According to the study, both technical functionality, and contractual-economic aspects speak in favor of the public cloud. The respondents attached great importance to:

  • scalability of IT capacity and performance,
  • regular patches, updates and release management by the provider,
  • savings in hardware and software investments,
  • device, time and location-independent access,
  • reduction in administrative costs.

As public cloud services are provided as a software solution, there is no need for large upfront investments. Healthcare users can focus on their core business and drive their digitalization without having to jump over too many hurdles. In this way, the cloud environment can meet the needs of patients as well as individuals and businesses bound to professional secrecy by law.

Find out more about the Telekom Healthcare Cloud now:

Do you have any questions or a specific interest, would you like to receive additional information or personalized advice? Send us an email to info@telekom-healthcare.com or use our contact form

About the author
Magdalena Groneberg, Marketingverantwortliche für Digital Health

Magdalena Groneberg

Marketing Manager for Digital Health, Deutsche Telekom

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