6 Healthcare Technology Trends and Their Impact on IT Infrastructure

healthcare technology trends

The future of healthcare is a smart one, where patients are more involved in their treatment plans, and they can consult with a healthcare professional from the comfort of their own homes. Doctors and nurses can monitor patients’ vital signs remotely, providing patients with more efficient treatment while reducing healthcare costs for an aging population. Here are six trends showing the impact of technology in healthcare and what it means for IT infrastructure and healthcare information management.

IoT and Exponential Data Growth

According to a Makovsky/Kelton survey, 90% of Americans are now willing to share their data in order to help researchers better understand diseases and 81% of them are willing to use a wearable device to monitor health or fitness. With the increasing adoption of IoT devices, data collection from sensors will continue to multiply. As aptly put by Moteni from Wired, “Healthcare is hemorrhaging data.” Zayo, a leading global network provider, estimates about 30% of the world’s stored data comes from the healthcare industry. Apps and monitoring devices are already resulting in improvements for patients with chronic diseases. According to Deloitte’s global Connected Health report, patients using medical apps to improve management of COPD experienced a 50-57% reduction in doctor visits, and they also adhered more closely to their treatment plans.

Use of AI/Machine Learning

These mountains of data on patients, diseases and treatments are waiting to be processed by machine learning algorithms. Not only will this bring healthcare professionals new insight into diseases and how to treat them, it will save doctors and researchers a significant amount of time in busy work. According to Wired, data-crunching algorithms could save medicine and pharma alone up to $100 billion annually. As adoption of AI technologies grows, healthcare companies will require greater compute power, increasing power consumption and density of their data center deployments.

Moving Off-Prem

According to Zayo, many of their healthcare clients are managing multiple data centers, which is not a business they want to be in. More healthcare providers are turning to data center colocation providers and cloud-based solutions to manage their IT infrastructure. Many private cloud and colocation providers meet HIPAA and other high security compliance standards so that these healthcare companies no longer have to take on the burden of managing their own data centers.

Closer to the Edge

As more patients use mobile apps and devices to monitor their health and fitness, and more patients and hospitals use monitoring devices that connect to the Internet, there will be a growing need for the data centers that store and process this data to be closer to users. This reduces network latency and network transport costs. A study done by ACG Research found that companies can reduce network backbone transport costs by 50% over a five-year period. Data centers that serve this purpose are commonly referred to as edge data centers.

Healthcare Information Management & Security

A top concern for health companies is security and healthcare information management. Electronic healthcare records (EHR) are some of the most valuable records for cybercriminals to acquire. According to Healthcare IT News, the cost of stolen records continues to increase. EHR data breaches now cost companies around $408 per record. The financial sector follows healthcare in the value of stolen records, but breaches in the financial sector only cost about $206 per consumer, nearly half that of an ERH.  Trend Micro finds cybercriminals can earn $500,000 for an EHR data base. The incentive for cybercriminals is high, and as the healthcare sector attempts to make health records accessible across providers, cybersecurity and IT professionals in healthcare must be more careful than ever.

The Rise of Telehealth

study by SGP reveals 56% of healthcare executives have implemented telemedicine in their organizations, and most of those who haven’t yet adopted telemedicine say it is a high priority. Both patients and healthcare companies are motivated to use telehealth services because it reduces overall healthcare costs and saves patients valuable time. As the demand for telehealth rises, healthcare companies will need to maximize the efficiency of their networks, reducing latency and ensuring ample bandwidth for video communications.

Data Foundry owns and operates high-security, high-availability HIPAA-compliant data centers in Texas and serves the Houston and Austin healthcare sectors.

Learn more about our data centers