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The Healthcare Cloud: A Journey

Medical-Records

Six years ago during a quarterly senior management meeting at Logicworks I suggested that healthcare, and particularly the hosting of cloud-based healthcare applications, should be a major strategic focus for our 2010-2011 business plan.  Logicworks was already a leader in Software-as-a-Service delivery and one of the recognized Managed Hosting providers in the industry.  Our clients included several of NBC’s online media properties like Bravo and iVillage, video games like Rock Band and Dance Central, and mobile giants like Lagardere and Velti.  Cloud computing in healthcare, however, was a huge unknown for us.

At the time we had a grand total of one healthcare client.  It was a fledgling Electronic Medical Records system, owned and operated by a physician.  He enjoyed leaving long, rambling voicemails on my answering service to the effect of:

“Steve, it’s Dr. XXXX.  Listen, quick question, I’m pitching our EMR to a hospital group that has a thousand doctors on staff.  If each of those doctors has two hundred patients, and I want to give each patient three gigs of storage, how much storage will I need?”

As tempting as it was to respond with Let Me Google That For You I actually admired this doctor and his willingness to throw his hat in the IT ring.  Although his EMR did not succeed, one might call him a pioneer in the realm of M.D.s dedicating their careers to technology.  Three of today’s leaders in this field are “The Geek Doctor” Dr. John Halamka, Dr. Eric Topol at Scripps, and the impossibly forward-thinking CIO of Hackensack University Medical Center, Dr. Shafiq Rab.  If you are interested in this space, you’ll want to stay on top of what these three guys are doing.

Despite some healthy skepticism, my recommendation to expand our focus to include the healthcare cloud was approved.  In 2010, we launched our “Compliance Cloud for Healthcare Applications.” Initial results were mixed at best.  We spent a good part of that year explaining that HIPAA isn’t spelled like a certain large amphibian and that we can’t “do HIPAA for fifty dollars a month.”  But we stuck to our guns and by 2011 were in fact hosting some substantial healthcare workloads.

We spent the next few years honing our skills and services across regulatory compliance, secure network design, training and operational policy, and highly resilient and scalable infrastructure.  Today, Logicworks’ healthcare cloud solutions  support statewide Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) in over twenty states from Alaska to Connecticut, central Health & Human Services infrastructure for The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the largest healthcare analytics platforms in the country, and an impressive roster of healthcare startups.

In 2014, Logicworks became one of the early consulting partners to bring HIPAA compliant workloads onto the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.  In November, our VP of Engineering Jason McKay presented at Amazon’s re:Invent conference expert track “Architecting for HIPAA Compliance.”  2015 has begun with a flurry of large-scale AWS-based healthcare cloud projects, and all signs point to this being just the very beginning.

By Steve Zeller


Do you have a journey about healthcare in the cloud that you’d like to share?  We have formed the Healthcare on AWS Meetup here in New York City for innovative members of the Healthcare IT community to discuss healthcare cloud compliance and performance on Amazon Web Services.  Join us on March 3rd for our next session, hosted by Flatiron Health.

Posted on February 23, 2015 in Cloud Compliance, Cloud Computing Industry, Cloud Security, Hybrid Cloud, Managed AWS

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About the Author

Logicworks is a cloud automation and managed services provider with 20+ years of experience in IT operations. To learn more about Logicworks, contact us at (212) 625-5300 or sales@logicworks.net.

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