From the Lab

The Future of Healthcare Needs a Strong Data Center Foundation

The annual HIMSS Conference is a showcase of the latest innovations in technology and healthcare. From telemedicine to sophisticated medical imaging to advancements in electronic medical records, exhibitors are eager to highlight the newest applications driving the industry forward.

If there’s one catch with many healthcare applications, however, it’s that they require significant and robust infrastructure to support deployment at scale. Virtual visits from a doctor depend on massive high-speed broadband connections. High-resolution medical images need vast storage capacity. And EMR systems demand secure data processing, not to mention the guarantee of a backup and recovery plan in the event of disaster.
The focal point for storage, computing, and network connectivity is the data center. As the IT function grows more complicated, however, more and more healthcare organizations are investing in multi-tenant data centers rather than managing their own in-house facilities. Evidence of this trend across multiple industries is seen in the latest market reports. Financial and professional services firm JLL, for example, is now forecasting data center revenue to hit $14.8 billion in 2016, up 32% from 2014.

While data centers aren’t the most talked-about technology resource at HIMSS, they are critical to realizing the promise of healthcare innovation. And because of that fact, healthcare organizations need to consider their criteria for outsourced data centers very carefully.

As hospitals and other healthcare networks look to the future, they need to do more than assume that any data center infrastructure will support their needs. Instead of settling for a plain old data center (PODC), these organizations need to evaluate the benefits of an Advanced Data Center (ADC): on-demand resources, secure connectivity to both public and private clouds, and managed services that guarantee optimal application performance at all times.

The future of healthcare is bright. The future of healthcare IT requires secure, strong, and flexible ADC infrastructure.