The European Institute of Innovation through Health Data (i~HD) participated in the drafting of a recently published report titled “Our health in the cloud: exploring the evolving role of cloud technology in healthcare”, written by Catherine H. Whicher and Suzanne Wait at The Health Policy Partnership (HPP). This report recognises the benefits that can be reaped from cloud technology in the health sector as well as recommendations to maximise its potential.  i~HD supported this endeavour through its Prof. Dipak Kalra (i~HD President) and Nathan Lea (i~HD Data Privacy Officer and Information Governance Lead).

Prof. Kalra shared that i~HD was very pleased to be invited to join HPP in developing an informative report for health decision-makers about the contributions that cloud computing can make to better patient care and large-scale learning.

“i~HD strongly promote trustworthy learning from health data in order for healthcare organisations to improve delivery of health services and health outcomes, collaborate with each other to scale up that learning, inform public health and accelerate research. Keeping data within single organisations makes some of these things more difficult. We recognise that the use of cloud computing, provided this is operated in trustworthy and secure ways, accelerates this learning opportunity,” Kalra says.

i~HD engaged with HPP and the report sponsors on scoping the content, the themes that it should cover and proposed some of the stakeholders and thought leaders that we felt could contribute through interviews and case studies. i~HD participated in some of these HPP-led interviews to add to the discussion and extraction of the interview findings.

According to Suzanne Wait, Managing Director at HPP, a lot of what is still needed to be achieved in efficient and person-centred healthcare is not attainable without the cloud, “Both the delivery of care and health-related research are more data-intensive and collaborative than ever, and the process of collecting, combining, storing, analysing and exchanging these data require computational power, cybersecurity and speed that far exceed ordinary on-site capabilities, meaning they can only be done with cloud technology.”

i~HD also agrees that the publication of the report can elevate the quality of care that can be provided. “This report has the dual value of promoting the benefits and trustworthiness characteristics of cloud computing for healthcare as well as presenting many case studies that illustrate how health data can be used to deliver benefits to patient care and research,” added Kalra.

Click here to learn more about this report.