The digital age has greatly accelerated collaboration in the healthcare sector, which is great news. But how do you sustain that advantage? And how do you tackle the issues is brings to the fore – such as cyber-security? We take a look.
Innovations and accelerations in wider society over the course of the last two decades have inevitably – and positively – had a huge impact on the healthcare sector too. A few of the ‘global megatrends’ are reshaping how healthcare practitioners work. The first is cloud – which underpins the others. Social & mobile have changed expectations of speed, visibility and communication between teams. Digital connectedness means people across companies and practices can securely and reliably share data and insight. This data itself has got ‘Big’ (and keeps getting Bigger, in terms of volume, velocity and variety) and needs advanced analytics to make sense of it all and to make it accurate and actionable.
Alongside the increasing connectedness of doctors, patients, nurses, chemists and carers, there’s also the increasing connectedness of things. The growth of the Internet of Things means the number of devices in constant communication is expanding exponentially. When we consider these trends taken together, it’s clear that the future era of compelling collaboration must be predicated on robust digital security.
Security, security, security
The era of digital health brings in the era of losing privacy as the more data healthcare uses to provide patients with the best care, the higher the risk becomes for losing parts of their privacy. As digital healthcare becomes more of an integrated global system in future, complying with all the rules will be even more complex in future.
While there are no sectors which would inherently describe digital security as merely a “nice to have”, in healthcare it’s critical. Healthcare needs watertight security against increasing digital threats to protect healthcare brands and data; protect patient data wherever it travels and rests.
Robust tools like mobile device management, coupled with biometrics, provide water-tight security for physical devices and protect patient data. They can enable the roll-out of security profiles based on individual profiles, as well as the ability to remotely wipe data that resides on devices when the device is stolen or compromised. Technology partners like VMware can help you implement and enforce a zero-trust policy for application behaviour, devices and access.
Actionable insight through advanced analytics
New data-sharing schemes are continually being proposed and introduced within healthcare to improve and extend the services offered by the healthcare provider, satisfying demand for a 24/7 service and providing a more joined-up approach to healthcare.
The imperative to make patient data available, but only at the right place at the right time, means that healthcare providers will need to invest in highly-secure platform-based solutions that run on open APIs in order to allow the interoperability of patient owned insights with hospital-owned infrastructure. API’s must allow for the data formats (the most important, highly regulated ones being DICOM and HL7) and also for their exchange.
Traditional IT security strategies are no longer fit for purpose against a background of increasing infrastructural complexity, and a threat landscape exponentially more challenging year-on-year. VMware can help you become intrinsically secure -by protecting the network, the common element that touches everything. Deploying virtual cloud networks gives enterprises a universal fabric – secure that, and everything it touches is secure. It’s more efficient, easier to manage, and automated, freeing up your people to focus on more valued-adding innovation tasks.
The other central consideration here is that, in today’s connected technology landscape, organisations can’t combat threats without automation in place – it’s now central to the whole security discussion.
A future-proof technology investment delivering better quality of lives
Healthcare is a fundamental right. If we agree with that premise, then it’s not just staff who deserve the very best technology – it’s patients, too. But there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to technology: every organisation’s cloud implementation is unique.
VMware partners with healthcare companies to define a strategic cloud roadmap. We help reduce the complexity of choice, make cloud easier to consume. We design and deliver a cloud strategy that optimises performance and achieves measurable business value – ensuring smooth, successful outcomes. VMware supports IT leaders on their journey through insight, advice, roadmaps and analyses relevant to delivering healthcare for tomorrow.
We’ve helped rethinking collaboration make a real difference for innumerable hospitals and healthcare companies, including one of Ireland’s largest and most modern, Tallaght University Hospital. If you’d like to know more about what that looks like, you can read a short blog here.
If you’d like to discuss any of the ideas raised in this blog or explore what benefits and outcomes cloud-powered collaboration could deliver for you, you can contact us here.