Healthcare industry adopting cloud-based image-sharing technology

February 22, 2012

Cloud computing has enabled businesses in several industries to transfer a wide range of files, documents and applications in a secure, remote environment. The healthcare sector, which has experienced a significant amount of data breaches in recent years, is now adopting cloud technology to permit the secure exchange of medical images between doctors and healthcare organizations, according to a study conducted by Chilmark.

The report was released at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) annual conference and revealed that physicians believe cloud-based systems can improve collaboration between healthcare providers and doctors, resulting in better, more efficient care for patients.

"Imaging technology is critical for screening, diagnosing and managing diseases, but until recently, many physicians and healthcare organizations have not been able to exchange important images across systems and consult with colleagues," said Hamid Tabatabaie, CEO of lifeIMAGE, a provider of information-sharing systems for healthcare firms. "Better real-time collaboration in both inpatient and outpatient settings is becoming increasingly important as our healthcare system puts a laser focus on improving patient outcomes while also reducing inefficiencies and healthcare costs."

The study found that 91 percent of doctors believe open-access systems designed for medical image sharing can benefit patients. The source also provided healthcare organizations with recommendations regarding the transition to cloud-based image-sharing systems. According to the report, healthcare providers should begin migrating to the cloud as soon as possible, as the technology has reached a maturity level where it can be safely added to an organization's IT strategy.

Multiple healthcare IT experts have expressed support for widespread industry adoption of cloud services for data backup, collaboration, information storage and applications. A Ponemon Institute study recently revealed that data breaches at healthcare providers are on the rise, making it essential for organizations to store and transfer information in a secure environment.

-McAfee Cloud Security