Definition

health care cloud

A health care cloud is a cloud computing service used by health care providers for storing, maintaining and backing up personal heath information (PHI).

Health care cloud services are capable of storing significantly more data than an on-site physical server, particularly when it comes to the large image files common in radiology departments. In addition, health care cloud storage costs are a fraction of those for on-site servers; however, the transition requires a full-fledged server virtualization implementation.  

Many physicians and health care organizations are reluctant to use health care cloud services for fear of suffering a data breach in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Due to the sensitive nature of the data being stored and accessed, many health care organizations are opting to avoid public cloud services and implementing a private cloud service in-house instead. 

This was last updated in July 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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