DALLAS (Oct. 8, 2014) – “Healthcare’s adoption of cloud technology is expected to grow at a healthy rate of 20 percent and reach a market size of $5.4 billion by 2017,” Jared Alfson, Health IT Engineer for TeleQuality Communications said at yesterday’s Telco Cloud World Forum North America Conference & Exhibition, referencing a report by MarketAndMarket. 

Alfson said aggressive expansion means “telcos can no longer ignore the rising demand for comprehensive telecom solutions in the healthcare sector.”

Alfson discussed how telecommunications providers can prepare for and take advantage of impending growth. “Telcos are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the expansion because they can provide all-inclusive information and communications technology (ICT) solutions such as medical monitoring and mobile health applications that complement cloud services,” he said. 

Based on 10 years of experience in the health IT industry, Alfson brought attention to how this developing trend will impact the healthcare industry. Cloud technology is quickly changing the future of healthcare,” Alfson said. “With more and more hospitals investing in electronic health records (EHR), cloud technology opens up the possibility of extreme accessibility and mobility of patients’ digitized health information,” Alfson said. He explained how patient information could be shared not only within multiple locations at the same healthcare institution, but outside participants such as paramedics, pharmacists and nurses would be able to view and use the information, with the patient’s consent, for medical treatment purposes. 

Alfson also outlined the tremendous benefits cloud has over other computing solutions. “Increased speed, decreased costs, scalable solutions and collaboration among multiple outlets makes cloud technology economic sense for all health care providers,” he said. 

With severe penalties for breaking HIPAA privacy and security requirements, health care providers are concerned about the security of cloud-based systems. “Right now many health care providers are skeptical of storing secured, confidential information especially electronic medical records in cloud-based systems,” Alfson said. He explained that cloud technology providers must be well-prepared to handle these security requirements by entering a business associate agreement (BAA).

Alfson said the solution to security concerns lies in a combination of current cloud provider security capabilities, and third-party security management. “The healthcare sector can harness the cost and agility benefits of cloud technology without compromising data security,” he added. 

About Rural Health Telecom (RHT) 

Rural Health Telecom, a division of TeleQuality Communications, Inc., is based in San Antonio, Texas. Its rural health care provider clients receive the largest amount of total funding in the continental United States. Founded in 1999, RHT focuses exclusively on supplying quality telecommunications products and services to health care facilities in America. Rural Health Telecom has made Inc. magazine’s 500/5000 list of the fastest growing telecommunications companies three years in a row. For more information please visit www.ruralhealthtelecom.com

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