Infrastructure as a Service, or better known as Hardware as a service, is gaining popularity for several reasons in the Healthcare IT industry. Healthcare professionals depend on electronic health records to manage patient details and to give them proper care. A huge amount of data at healthcare organizations is making it difficult to store data across on-premise devices. However, the ability of IaaS to maintain control over access to patient data makes it a great tool to manage massive databases.
Healthcare organizations have different reasons to store and collect patient data. Also, electronic health records support the healthcare sector for better healthcare measures. The healthcare industry is depending on telehealth and telemedicine
and EHRs to provide databases to the hospitals and deliver better patient care, thus making the data difficult to store. Cloud-based IaaS becomes a perfect choice in this scenario, as it gives the healthcare sector flexibility to the data storage systems.
Let us delve deeper and understand what healthcare IaaS is and how it is offering benefits to the healthcare industry.
What Do You Understand by the Term Healthcare IaaS?
Gartner defines IaaS as-
“A standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities, are owned by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand.”
It includes software and hardware, which gives IT administrators better control over their cloud environment. Its resources include operating system licensing, network, security, and storage.
Furthermore, it takes the on-site maintenance task out of IT infrastructure by using servers on behalf of on-premise servers. While several IaaS deployments use servers hosted off-site, the organizations have the option of deploying their IaaS environment on-premises.
The Difference Between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
SaaS (Software as a service) and PaaS (Platform as a service) are two common forms of cloud computing that differs from IaaS. SaaS is the most commonly utilized option for business in the market. It uses the internet to deliver applications that are controlled and managed by the third-party vendor. SaaS eliminates the need to have IT staff download and install applications. It can be managed from a central location, accessible over the internet, and is hosted on the remote server.
provides cloud components to software while being used for applications. It delivers a great framework for the developers and helps them in building customized applications. The network here can be managed by the third-party provider, and the developers maintain the management of the applications. PaaS is highly available, easy to use, and significantly reduces the amount of coding needed. Additionally, it provides multiple sources to assist with the deployment of apps.
IaaS, Infrastructure as a Service, on the other hand, is made of scalable and automated computing resources. It is fully self-service for monitoring computers and other services. It allows businesses to purchase resources as needed. It offers the most flexible cloud computing model. It is easy to automate servers and processing power.
Startups and small companies use IaaS to avoid time and money purchasing software. With IaaS, healthcare has several options. They can implement applications and middleware and Operating systems. It makes it easier for organizations to add cloud deployments and to run their infrastructure smoothly.
Reasons and Ways in Which IaaS is Supporting the Healthcare Industry
With IaaS, the organizations have better access to user interface and APIs. Different IaaS solutions can be implemented to build a custom cloud environment.
Here are the benefits that IaaS is offering to the healthcare industry.
1. High Availability
For companies associated with IT, downtime could only result in a loss in revenue. But the same, for healthcare organizations, can risk a person’s life. The medical centers and the healthcare services must be available 24*7 to manage emergencies. They should be able to manage patient medical history at the time of need.
The geographical architecture provided through IaaS allows organizations to access important data even after a power outage. On-premise and physical data centers that are subject to failure cannot guarantee this accessibility.
2. Easy Maintenance and Management
Managing a data infrastructure is a difficult task for IT teams at healthcare organizations. The endless upgrades keep them improving user experience and thus create healthcare technology solutions.
When Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) takes over the management and maintenance duties, then the provider monitors the environment to ensure it is operating safely.
Healthcare organizations should keep most of their revenue to deliver better patient care. The money allocation involves the right medical equipment and the hiring of trained laborers. Maintaining a database is also crucial for the healthcare industry.
With IaaS, healthcare experts can avoid expenses for storage hardware. Also, companies can eliminate their capital expenditure and related maintenance costs.
Also, the personal information of doctors and patients can be used for fraud. To avoid thefts for the EHR
containing patient records, the team must block unauthorized access to these records. The data breaching record is increasing every year and must be protected. The right cloud offers security for IaaS. The security measures must include prevention to ensure that the information is protected from being stolen.
In healthcare, doctors and teams have to manage data of thousands of patients at a single time. Therefore, organizations should be flexible and have accessible storage systems on multiple devices.
Furthermore, it should have strategies for better understanding and good access to medical treatments. In case of emergency, the staff should be available to contact specialists and treat medical conditions.
6. Increased Performance
One of the major benefits of IaaS is increased performance. With IaaS, the infrastructure and service are supported by the IaaS providers. A cloud provider is reliable, robust, and user friendly.
Using IaaS saves the upfront costs associated with maintaining and purchasing and decreases overall expenditure. When the healthcare organization is using IaaS, the team gets more time to focus on the business and patients' needs.
7. Enhanced Flexibility
With IaaS, healthcare organizations have the opportunity of scaling up and down the services. IaaS ensures that the business infrastructure can manage the patient data easily and for a longer period.
Overall, the IaaS gives the flexibility required by a healthcare organization. With IaaS, the team doesn’t need to spend more time troubleshooting the environment as the cloud service is responsible for handling the system.
Challenges in IaaS for Healthcare Sector
Indeed IaaS offers several health benefits to the healthcare sector, but it also has certain limitations.
1. Sometimes Less Secure
Sometimes healthcare organizations do not have control over cloud security in the IaaS environment. The team must review the Cloud Service Provider’s legal agreement to understand security obligations and to know it better.
2. Technical Problems and Flexibility
It is reported that organizations have faced technical issues with IaaS. For instance, the authorized person couldn’t have access to retrieve or read the patient data. With IaaS, the organizations have a full dependency on the third-party. In case a third party fails, it would result in the error.
When it comes to healthcare services, choose a company that knows the ins and outs of the healthcare industry. Make sure that it delivers the best in terms of services and delivery.
IaaS is the best computing model and provides instant access to storage and solutions to the clients. With the right budget and experienced staff, the IaaS supports the growth needed for advanced technology.