By Max Clarke

Healthcare has emerged as the latest sector to adopt Cloud Computing, with the launch of a groundbreaking scheme that could revolutionise healthcare management.

The Cloud Industry Forum has voiced their support for this system, which has been launched by the NHS and Cloud Service Provider (CSP), Flexiant, for its accountable and secure data handling platform.

“An e-health platform to store NHS patient information in the Cloud is a potentially ground-breaking idea which will completely change how our healthcare system is managed,” said Cloud Industry Forum chairman, Andy Burton. “The level of trust in the Cloud that the NHS is showing by testing this system is a huge step for the industry and one we fully support. It emphasises that the Cloud is becoming increasingly accepted by consumers.

“However, as and when the NHS does decide to formally store patient information in the Cloud, it should ensure that any shortlisted Service Providers offer them and, therefore, UK citizens all appropriate transparency, capability and accountability for the service.”

Andy continued: “At the Cloud Industry Forum, we encourage professional CSPs to self certify against an industry Code of Practice. In this instance, any potential Service Provider should supply the NHS with the information it needs to make an informed decision on selecting a particular CSP; and to know exactly where its data is being stored and with what level of security and availability assurance.

“Our aim is for end users in general to have confidence in the Cloud and to recognise it as a viable, efficient, secure and economical IT supply model. It is important for NHS patients’ data to be secure in the Cloud, should this e-health system become official. We aim to eliminate potential security risks associated with non-standardised CSPs by suggesting that the CSP storing NHS patient information in the cloud is standardised and secure.

“We, at CIF would welcome Flexiant to Register for self-certification against the Cloud Service provider Code of Practice, to further validate their commitment to the cloud industry,” concluded Andy.

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