Obamacare goes live: Healthcare cloud computing in action
Today marks the opening of the online enrollment of government-approved health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
As we previously explored, though the law has been a lightning rod for partisan controversy and bickering, one undeniably positive impact of the law has been its emphasis on utilizing burgeoning IT approaches for healthcare, including cloud computing, to enable more people to access insurance coverage.
“Within this budding area of lucrative business opportunities is a sweet spot garnering more and more attention thanks in part to a key, fast-approaching October healthcare implementation deadline mandated under President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): healthcare cloud computing.”
Through the extension of insurance promised under Obamacare, healthcare IT innovation is set to accelerate, through the exchanges themselves, as well as the digitization of patient data for advanced levels of information sharing and collaboration between insurance providers and doctors.
The law is also a major business opportunity, as the nature of how healthcare exchanges leverage cloud-based solutions requires a great deal of expertise on security and compliance. As Larry Walsh at ChannelNomics reports:
“Today, information sharing is done on a limited basis because of security concerns, infrastructure limitations… To support new applications and services, health care organizations will need to invest in new networking equipment, application acceleration, security, storage and endpoints. In short, the health care revolution will pull the sale of conventional technologies and supporting services.”
There is a lot of concern among the organizations supporting this healthcare IT push around security, but especially with maintaining compliance. HIPAA compliance is still opaque, requiring a great deal of guidance for implementation. This becomes especially tricky as an organization begins creating business associate agreements among their vendors.
Over the next coming months, we will see where the Affordable Care Act succeeds or stumbles. Some degree of confidence in its success, however, can be attributed to the IT opportunity present for those companies involved in digitizing the healthcare industry.
At the heart of this opportunity is the cloud – with its capacity for massive storage and collaboration, as well as the security and compliance expertise which organizations can access through seasoned managed service providers.
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