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Healthcare Blockchain, Cloud, Virtualization Top 2017 Stories

Our top 10 stories from 2017 span the many areas of health IT infrastructure organizations need to build upon to support advanced current and future technology.

health IT infrastructure

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Health IT Infrastructure went through many transformations in 2017 from healthcare blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), to artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Healthcare organizations are looking to their infrastructure to help cut back costs while improving workflow. This is especially critical as value-based care initiatives continue to influence IT decision-makers. Organizations need a solid IT infrastructure to support tech-intensive programs such as big data analytics and telehealth.

The top stories on HITInfrastructure.com in 2017 spanned many different IT infrastructure topics including APIs, virtualization, and blockchain. Entities are considering every aspect of their health IT infrastructures to support current and future technological innovation for healthcare.

Here are the top 10 stories of the past year:

10. Healthcare Blockchain Puts Patients in Control of EHRs

READ MORE: How to Build a Successful Healthcare Mobility Solution

Blockchain was one of the most talked about healthcare topics of 2017 because of its potential implication in healthcare. From supply chain to EHRs, blockchain is being considered for several different uses in health IT infrastructure.

This article focuses on how organizations are exploring the possibilities of healthcare blockchain to more securely exchange data and help solve interoperability issues among disparate EHR systems. Entities can use tools to help give patients incentive to be in control of their own EHR.

9. Why Cloud, Virtualization are Key to Healthcare Infrastructure Strategy

Health IT infrastructure is the foundation that supports clinical and operational improvements. Choosing the correct tools will reduce cost, improve security, and speed up workflow across an organization.

We discussed the future of health IT infrastructure with Nebraska Medicine Vice President of IT Brian Lancaster and Moffitt Cancer Center CTO Tom Hull at VMworld 2017. Cloud and virtualization are two technologies that both experts agreed will support IT future technologies as organizations continue to digitally transform.

READ MORE: How Open Source Software Benefits Health IT Infrastructure

8. Internet of Medical Things Improves Health IT Infrastructure

The IoT was also one of the most popular health IT infrastructure topics of 2017 as organizations embraced a more mobile and data-centric approach to healthcare. Patient wearables and connected medical devices can collect data that helps clinicians make more informed diagnoses.

This article explains the different applications of the IoT in healthcare and how the devices support digital growth and patient engagement.

7. How Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Supports Patient Care

Healthcare organizations are interested in virtualization to simplify different IT infrastructure systems. Desktops are one of the most common forms of virtualization and gives IT more control over workstations and users easier access to their personal desktop from anywhere.

READ MORE: Using Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for Healthcare Data Security

The article explains in detail what virtual desktop infrastructure is and specifically how it supports the healthcare industry.

6. How Healthcare Providers can Benefit from Cloud Data Migration

Data migration is one of the most challenging undertakings for any healthcare organization. Many entities are moving from legacy storage solutions to cloud storage to give themselves more flexibility and cut back on costs.

Here we explain the challenges of cloud data migration, how to migrate applications, and what tools and technologies should be considered for a large data migration.

5. Practical Applications of Augmented Reality in Healthcare

While it isn’t widely implemented in healthcare yet, augmented reality was an intriguing topic in 2017 because of the potential implications to the industry. The mixed reality superimposes virtual elements over what the user is looking at in the real world. 

Augmented reality can potentially be used in surgery, but the practical application being explored right now focus on surgeon education to present more realistic educational material.

4. Considerations for Deploying Healthcare Wireless Networks

Wireless networks have long been one of the biggest challenges for healthcare organizations. As the lifeblood of health IT infrastructure, it’s critical that healthcare organizations have a wireless network that can support advanced medical technology.

We explained what entities need to consider when planning or upgrading their wireless network including, coverage, connectivity, and capacity, and how to manage the network.

3. Healthcare Data Storage Options: On-Premises, Cloud, and Hybrid Storage

Data storage is one of the most basic and important aspects of health IT infrastructure and organizations need to consider their digital needs to determine what storage solution meets the demand without breaking the budget.

This article reviews the potential benefits of on-premises storage including solid-state and flash-based options as well as the elasticity of cloud storage.

2. Top 10 Cloud Data Storage Companies

Many vendors offer HIPAA compliant cloud storage solutions and it can be difficult for organizations to recognize which one will serve them best.

We compiled a list of the top cloud storage providers, including brief descriptions of how they serve the healthcare vertical.

1. Why Application Programming Interfaces are Key for Healthcare

Application programming interfaces (APIs) support interoperability and faster healthcare application development. The transition to value-based care means that open and secure data exchange is crucial.

Here we explain what APIs are, why they’re important, and how they can be used to improve patient care through better data exchange.

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