The telecommunications landscape of today covers significantly more than just landlines and switchboards. All technology that deals with telecommunication falls under this umbrella term. As the market for connected devices expands, as do the expectations for telecom in the healthcare industry.
Access and Interoperability with Wearables
Health-related wearables made up a market of $5.1 billion in 2015. Everything from heart-rate-monitor wristbands to glucose monitors may collect necessary health information. Getting secure and easy access to that data is where the challenge lies. Doctors need real-time visibility into data as it is collected to more efficiently treat ongoing medical issues. As more wearables hit the market, healthcare providers need to have systems in place to communicate without sacrificing data security.
Security Is a Top Priority
With hospitals and other healthcare providers faced with the need to keep patient information private under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) regulations, the need for better security is continual. Doctors and healthcare employees routinely have devices that may not have the required level of security for full compliance.
Connecting a private server to the hospital network can expose millions of records containing patients’ private healthcare information, as New York Presbyterian Hospital recently discovered when a doctor accidentally turned off a server. This accident resulted in a fine of $4.8 million when 6,800 patients had their healthcare information displayed online. In addition to accidents, criminal attacks on healthcare providers’ data are up 125 percent over the last five years, according to a recent Ponemon Institute study. These issues make security a leading challenge for many providers.
Handling Infrastructure Growth
As these devices hit the market and healthcare providers continue switching to electronic records, the sheer amount of digital data collected grows exponentially. An increase in the amount of stored data means that healthcare enterprises need more storage. Cloud storage may be the best solution in many cases. As healthcare enterprises shift data storage to the Cloud, they may simultaneously address security concerns by outsourcing the issue.
In the coming year, as expectations change, it is important to keep note of significant trends. The rapid adoption of wearables, increase in security risks, and need for more data storage are some of the most important trends that will affect healthcare telecommunications in 2016.
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