Speed off with flash storage benefits for healthcare

Flash storage benefits include speed, performance improvements

When you think of healthcare innovations, storage is probably one of the last things that come to mind. But as the healthcare industry continues to grapple with an influx of data that is estimated to soar to 2,314 exabytes by 2020, it's obvious that it is no longer feasible to rely on traditional storage methods. Flash storage, common in consumer devices like smartphones and laptops, is emerging as a potential alternative or supplement to disk-based storage media and the cloud.

Two major flash storage benefits healthcare organizations should be aware of are speed and the potential to improve patient care. Really, the two go hand-in-hand. Because there are no moving parts, flash can read and write data much faster than a hard disk drive. This Barry Allen-like swiftness can be particularly critical at the point-of-care when physicians need to retrieve patient data quickly to make treatment decisions. In an emergency, the ability to retrieve a patient's records within seconds can mean the difference between life and death -- for instance, knowing at a glance what medication a patient is taking and avoiding potentially fatal contraindications.

Less dramatically, flash storage benefits also include lower costs and improved performance and data management. When you look at an area like radiology, which can generate terabytes worth of data a year, the need becomes clear for a cost-effective and reliable storage medium that won't completely wipe out the department's existing storage capacity.

Flash storage in healthcare shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. As the volume of data continues to increase, healthcare organizations that aren't using flash for at least some of their storage needs risk being swept away by a data tsunami.