Should the Norwegian healthcare sector migrate to the cloud? Yes, says Deepinsight. The benefits outweigh the risks.
– There are no laws that prevent the Norwegian health sector from using cloud technology. It’s about assessing risk against gain, says Olav Willumsen Haugå, CEO of Deepinsight.
Using cloud platforms in development means that streamlining tools and solutions can be tested and used much faster in the healthcare system. Scaling across health institutions also becomes considerably easier.
– Increased cloud use will shorten the time from idea to finished product while the product can be adapted along the way to actually solve the challenges of the users, explains Ivan Dervisevic, Senior Software Engineer at Deepinsight.
Cloud technology improves healthcare
In other industries, new solutions are constantly being developed to make everyday life for the end user easier and more efficient. The ability to innovate quickly and in line with the user's wants and needs can largely be credited to the flexibility of modern cloud technology.
A good example is the financial sector. The way we manage our economy has changed drastically in the past decade.
– The financial sector was early in reaping the benefits of cloud technology. The innovation the industry experienced 7-8 years ago, we now see in the health sector. It's about time, says Haugå.
It is not without reason that the health sector is behind other sectors. Health data is more complex, the risk is greater, there are strict regulatory requirements, long decision-making processes and it takes time to get the necessary expertise in place.
– It’s understandable that many health institutions are reluctant to migrate to the cloud. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that the Patient and User Rights Act stipulates that the best possible patient treatment must always be provided. If cloud technology is excluded from the health service, we will lose the opportunity to deliver on that, Haugå explains.
– New technology isn’t the goal. The goal is to develop new solutions that improve the healthcare sector. A natural place to start is with the part of healthcare that does not directly affect patients, Dervisevic adds.
– When the experience and trust has been built between the health sector and actors in cloud technology, we can look at the possibilities of migrating patient data to the cloud, he continues.
Several health actors are already in the cloud
Today's digital services in the healthcare sector are often built in separate computer rooms. Once the service is in place, the hospital hires someone to maintain and operate it.
If the solutions are developed in the cloud, they can be maintained and improved continuously by the same resources. An advantage of having the same resources to develop and maintain the services is that they understand the logic behind the solution, and are better equipped for solving any problems that arise.
Several Norwegian health actors are already in the cloud, and there are several health services that use cloud technology. Now it's about building experiences and making cloud-based solutions the standard practice.
– If we achieve this, important information will flow better across departments and health institutions. This will lead to better quality of healthcare, and to more productive administrative operations, says Dervisevic.
Health operations are safe in the cloud
– Data security is just as satisfactory in the cloud as in local data centers, Dervisevic believes.
The reason why the Norwegian healthcare sector is not in the cloud already is the fear of losing control of where important data is stored.
Regulatory requirements regarding the storage and sharing of personal data are naturally a challenge for using cloud technology for the health sector. The Schrems II ruling in particular complicates the use of the largest cloud providers. Here, the American law on the right of access is in conflict with the EU's strict privacy legislation.
– Regulatory requirements and legislation complicate the use of cloud technology, but they certainly don’t make it impossible, says Haugå.
Want to read more about how Deepinsight safeguards GDPR and privacy?
The real challenge in getting the healthcare sector on the cloud is not legislation and GDPR, but the collection and extraction of data.
In order to migrate operations and build new services, we need to develop good methods to access data, extract it and make it useful.
– Every day we work on finding good methods for this. It’s important to bring the health institutions along on the journey so that they can adapt technically on their part. Good collaboration will be crucial for creating long-awaited innovation and user-oriented services in the health sector, says Dervisevic.
– Full transparency between the health institutions and suppliers is key in order to succeed with efficient health operations in the cloud, Haugå concludes.
Part 2 – How does it work in practice?
You have now read part one of two on how the healthcare sector can migrate to the cloud. In part two, we will go more technical in depth on how the health sector can make the move to the cloud.