With all of the supposed concerns around security, reliability and performance, is it really possible that someone has launched a Cloud-based Healthcare service?  Yes it is.  What I think is most amusing is how I found out about it.  During a recent routine visit to my local doctor’s office they had a kiosk with a placard entitled “Our office is online!”.  So I grabbed the placard and began to read about their online (Cloud based) services.

Isn’t this the kind of stuff that needs to go through months and even years of testing, government regulation, IT performance evaluation and HIPAA standards compliance?  Apparently not!  After reading the card I asked the doctor about the service.  I had to hold back a smile as she explained to me how online services worked and how easy the service had been to deploy.  She said they had been doing it for months now.  There are four main tenants of the service.  First you can visit your doctor online with routine questions.  You can access your lab results, schedule office visits and even refill prescriptions.  Wow!  How convenient.

So now I’ve got to ask myself, haven’t I been reading about all of the security concerns about Cloud based services?  Is my doctor mad?  Doesn’t she know that her business is about to go under from lost data and she is in jeopardy of being sued for information leaking through the Internet?  Again, apparently not.

While we pontificate about how many terabytes of information will fit on storage arrays for the masses and whether 64 bit encryption will suffice for security measures or whether or not open Internet SLAs are sufficient, the Cloud is advancing… with or without us.  If it is already being used for something as prolific as General Practitioners of medicine, I think it’s safe to say that the Cloud is not only here, but in full swing. 

I know we have Service Providers in our CSP program who service the Healthcare business with their Cloud.  We have others that service the Financial markets.  And they have also seemed to have cracked the nut on the issues that we hear so much about today for why the Cloud is risky.  If you’re looking for a service provider who can provide you IT as a Service you can easily find one.

I think (and this is just my opinion) that Cloud Computing, in this case hosted healthcare, is not only here to stay, but will begin to morph the way that all Information Technology is done for decades to come.  I’ve been in the industry for over 30 years now and I’ve come to the realization that there are those who talk about doing something new, those who wait to see what others will do, those afraid to do what others do and those who actually do.  People who “do” otherwise known as Entrepreneurs will abound in this age of Cloud.

Look out you naysayers, your job is already at stake.