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Summary: Healthcare in the Cloud and the Benefits of Analyzing Patient Data

The Internet of Everything is altering not only our personal lives, but also business practices across every major industry – healthcare included. From telehealth to increasing caregiver efficiency to data sharing, the IoE enables opportunities for improvement. But with these new connections and advances in healthcare technology, many physicians and healthcare professionals are skeptical of this new wave of advancements.

How do you appease these apprehensions? Hosting in environments that are HIPAA compliant to start. But consider the opportunities to use large data sets of a population for better treatment.

Healthcare in the Cloud

Cloud opens opportunities to utilize the Internet of Things to better treat cities, states, countries and the entire world. Physicians have begun using multiple devices to track patient information because cloud environments and applications can provide omnipresent access to medical records, as well as increase the opportunity for communication among other physicians. For example, when flu season rolls around, data can be gathered and analyzed from previous seasons to better inform the endangered cities of when the flu season will begin.

Dr. Jeffrey Brenner decided to see where rising healthcare costs were actually being spent; his research is discussed in The Human Face of Big Data.  >> READ MORE

 

 

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Healthcare in the Cloud: Benefits of Analyzing Patient Data

The Internet of Everything is altering not only our personal lives, but also business practices across every major industry – healthcare included. From telehealth to increasing caregiver efficiency to data sharing, the IoE enables opportunities for improvement. But with these new connections and advances in healthcare technology, many physicians and healthcare professionals are skeptical of this new wave of advancements.

How do you appease these apprehensions? Hosting in environments that are HIPAA compliant to start. But consider the opportunities to use large data sets of a population for better treatment.

Cloud opens opportunities to utilize the Internet of Things to better treat cities, states, countries and the entire world. Physicians have begun using multiple devices to track patient information because cloud environments and applications can provide omnipresent access to medical records, as well as increase the opportunity for communication among other physicians. For example, when flu season rolls around, data can be gathered and analyzed from previous seasons to better inform the endangered cities of when the flu season will begin.

Dr. Jeffrey Brenner decided to see where rising healthcare costs were actually being spent; his research is discussed in The Human Face of Big Data.

Brenner, with a memory drive containing the records of 600,000 hospital visits, built a map linking hospital claims to patients’ addresses. He analyzed the patterns of data and the results took him by surprise, about 1,000 people accounted for 30% of hospital bills, because these patients were showing up in the hospital time after time.

Healthcare in the Cloud

Furthering the connection of data and the cloud, when surveyed, 63% of consumers were comfortable with having their medical records stored in the cloud. With movement of the patient record to the cloud, there will be more opportunity to analyze cross population data to better evaluate care protocols and support evidenced based medicine.  In addition, when using the cloud to facilitate analyzing patient data, there are more opportunities for collaboration and continuation of care by allowing experts from around the world to share their expertise in a secure and seamless environment. It also allows simplified scalability and the opportunity for expansion for smaller organizations or providers with fewer resources immediately available in non-cloud, on-premises, environments.

As we continue to virtualize more and more aspects of our lives, we will move toward a wholly cloud-based healthcare system. Ahead are the days that healthcare providers will deliver unique patient experiences through cloud-based services securely through purpose-built private and healthcare community clouds.

To read more insights on the cloud, visit our Cloud Perspectives page. Also, be sure to join the conversation – follow @CiscoCloud and use the hashtag #CiscoCloud or leave a comment below.

Read some of our past stories of how cloud and The Human Face of Big Data are changing our personal and professional lives:

 

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Cisco Champions Talk about Hybrid Cloud and Intercloud : A Podcast

February 25, 2014 at 8:59 am PST

On  January 28th , Cisco launched the Intercloud solutions . On the tail of this announcement, we invited a couple of Cisco Champions to share their perspectives on hybrid cloud and Intercloud with one of our subject matter experts . This was our first Champion podcast.

Eric Wright (@discoposse) and Jonathan Davis (@subnetwork) joined Cisco Mark Loesel to talk about cloud trends, opportunities and challenges companies have to face to deploy a cloud model, and the benefits of intercloud solutions.

Podcast1

Listen to this podcast, hosted by @commsninja.

Amongst the topic covered in this first edition, you will find conversations about

  • The evolution of the cloud market
  • Embracing hybrid cloud
  • When  public cloud can’t work for an organization
  • The impact of shadow IT
  • The importance of security
  • The Cisco Intercloud solution and the policy model
  • How open do you want your solution to be
  • The challenges to the deployment of hybrid cloud
  • How cloud will mature

To go further, I encourage you to check the following blogs on  Cisco Intercloud- You will find also excellent pointers for additional information.

If you are not familiar with the Cisco Champions, I encourage you to read the blog from Colin Lynch (@UCSGuru) posted last month : What does it mean to be a Cisco Champion? 

 

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Converging Communications in the Cloud

Cloud, Cloud, Cloud and… Cloud!!  There has been much justified excitement about the Cloud and the benefits that it can provide. XaaS is here to stay with everything from HR systems to CRMs launching multi-billion dollar transformations in the way business is done.

Within Cisco, we are in the middle of an exciting transformation of our own internal Digital services and platforms with the Cloud revolution as a backdrop. The work is exciting, and daunting, as it spans across multiple Communication and Marketing capabilities that will ultimately be consumed by our customers, partners and employees.

Why?

Cisco already has a robust Digital Marketing and Communication capability.  For example, we just took 6th place in Byte Level’s Web Globalization Report Card in front of some very strong companies.

ByteLevel_2014

So, if things are going well, why put the effort in to changing it?

Jimit Arora has a nice summary in InformationWeek on some of the factors around successful Enterprise Cloud adoption. He points to looking at cloud through the “lens of agility, competitiveness, not cost” and giving people a “compelling reason” to step out of their comfort zone.

In our industry, sitting on your laurels results in quickly being passed.  It’s critical for us to be constantly improving how we do things and Cloud is providing a major opportunity to do just that.

Are we there yet?

Cisco is examining the opportunity from a capabilities point of view with an eye towards consolidating and converging areas that exist for both internal and external use. The line between what’s inside and outside of a large Enterprise has been gradually fading since… well, since the advent of the internet.  As we tick off each capability we want to enable, there are many examples where we are already ‘there’ and have been for awhile. For example, when Cisco acquired WebEx Communications in 2007, we quickly became their largest consumer of cloud-based Communication services and we remain one of WebEx’s top ‘customers’ by volume today. As a Cisco employee, I use the same service that our customers use and we use it both inside and outside the firewall without giving it a second thought.

Another area of where we are pretty much ‘there’, is with our video capability. Using both 3rd party and Cisco technologies like TelePresence, we are able to move video seamlessly to customers, partners and employees as needed.  We demonstrated this capability in a dramatic way during the Cisco CloudVerse launch in 2011. We went so far as to combine a major internal event, our Company Meeting, with a live external broadcast to industry analysts and the press.

However, there are number capabilities that remain an opportunity for Cisco. One area where the improvements could be dramatic is in eliminating needless divisions between internal and external in the content management and delivery space. The lines between what goes to a customer, partner or employee should simply be a matter of policy and not a matter of digital capabilities or infrastructure.

There will certainly be cost savings around the re-use of internal content for external consumption, but the main benefit will once again be around agility.  Imagine the possibilities of a simplified architecture where content and new innovative capabilities can be delivered simultaneously to anyone within the broader corporate ecosystem. Getting the right content, to the right person, just-in-time has long been the promise of Digital and that will be greatly accelerated by a converged, cloud-based communication architecture.

If you find yourself within a large Enterprise examining Cloud-based Digital Marketing and Communication capabilities from the IT or Business perspective, I would love to hear your thoughts on the opportunities and challenges in the space.

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Cloud and the Dark Side of “Easy On”

Cloud providers justifiably tout the ease and speed in which services can be implemented, but behind the curtain a dark reality lurks. “Easy on” is a key selling feature of cloud services and for good reason. I well remember leading enterprise application implementation projects in the pre-cloud era. The initial thrill of taking on a major new initiative that could transform the business was quickly overcome by the stark reality of years of highly complex work before going live, only to find out that you were several releases out of date and needed a multi-million dollar upgrade!

In my first major cloud project (to deploy a cloud service management application to 16,000 service engineers) we had users up and running in a couple of months. The business began seeing results quickly and as the software was upgraded we gained advantage of new features immediately. Soon after implementation, we began experiencing problems. It turned out all of the support and operational complexity had been masked from us. Behind the simple outward appearance lay dozens of different software, hardware, data centers and networks. The cloud service provider took first support calls, but getting issues resolved took a long time – and worse, we never were quite sure who was currently working the issue or the status.

Recent studies have identified service and support as the number one decision criteria for customers purchasing new cloud services. In fact, one recent study of the SMB market for cloud services found that the TOP THREE concerns were service related:

  • Provide an SLA to ensure application is accessible at all times (53%)
  • Provide 24x7 customer support (47%)
  • Provide better notification of upgrades, changes and downtime (45%)

Much as cloud providers would like to address these concerns, it’s very difficult operationally to do so because of the multiple back end providers. Cloud customers, in turn, typically use phone, web or email interface with cloud providers to raise and get status on service incidents, so they have no real-time or proactive visibility into issues or outages. As companies put more mission critical applications into the cloud, this dysfunctional support model is causing growing concern and slowing the adoption of cloud services.

Cisco believes the answer is simple. No matter how many different providers might have to get involved to solve a problem, to the original customer it should look like one organization.  All information, data and workflows would be shared in an automated way, eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks.
Cisco ServiceGrid enables such integration with a “connect once, connect all” approach, integrating all participants in the support process to the cloud platform only once, instead of integrating everyone one at a time. In speaking with customers who have moved to such a model, they report 40% or more reduction in case resolution times and lower support costs. More importantly, the end user sees what’s happening on the case while it is happening – no finding out hours or days later – resulting in real time SLA’s.

The promise of cloud is incredible, however, cloud customers and cloud service providers need to recognize and address the growing concern about how it will all be supported. Together we can remove a powerful obstacle to cloud adoption, by adding an “easy button” for multi-party support.

source: Techaisle SMB Channel Partner Survey 2012

You may want also to read
Multi-Party Support -- The Emergence of a Dynamic Support Network

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