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6 Reasons to Migrate Medical Images to the Cloud

Do the benefits of moving healthcare medical images like x-rays, CT scans and MRIs outweigh the risks?  The answer is ‘yes’ if you have the right cloud services provider.

Consider a cloud offers for health care providers. Customers should look for vendor-neutral archive for access, viewing, sharing of medical images and a cloud services provider who demonstrates an understanding of the unique needs of healthcare.  Sounds like a cliché but health care data is unique and those in this industry know it.  But they also want a provider who knows what they’re doing.

So how does a cloud services provider demonstrate they get it?  There are a few foundational requirements.  Entering into a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) is one.  The BAA addresses a range of concerns: security of patient data, both in transit and at rest; redundancy of data centers; dual network connectivity between data centers; and duplicate image copies and duplicate data bases.  Beyond the BAA, there are other regulatory concerns that should be satisfied.  For instance, customers want to keep their data ‘on shore,’ in order to help ensure that all data is protected by US laws like HIPAA, HITECH and other state laws.    Customers also need to know a provider looks to developed and established industry standards, like the Common Security Framework of HITRUST.

Discerning customers, looking for their first cloud solution, should aim to find solutions that include these features:

1) Remote and mobile viewing of medical images  using an FDA cleared diagnostic viewer,

2) Centralized image repositories that truly enable vendor neutrality regardless of the PACS that produced the image,

3) Managed service with 24/7 support,

4) Decreased capital investment with an operational pay-as-you go model,

5) Scalability to meet exponential growth of medical imaging, and

6) A highly secure environment.

With the risks addressed, a good solution to consider is our AT&T MIIM (Medical Imaging and Information Management) service Our customers see the benefits of a solution that arises from a unique combination of insight into the needs of health care providers and of deep experience with networking, security and the cloud.

What about you? What features do you find necessary when considering a HIPAA-compliant medical and imaging solution? We look forward to hearing from you with your comments.

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More Stories By Steve Caniano

Steve Caniano is VP, Hosting, Application & Cloud Services at AT&T Business Solutions. As leader of AT&T's global Hosting, Application and Cloud infrastructure business, he is instrumental in forging key partner alliances and scaling AT&T's cloud services globally. He regularly collaborates with customers and represents AT&T at key industry events like Cloud Expo.