The Stack: Hidden Impact On Data Centres – Healthcare

Learn how data centres in healthcare are playing an increasingly important role in helping keep the NHS out of intensive care.

The National Health Service is facing unprecedented demands. A growing and ageing population. People living for longer but with chronic conditions that need expensive ongoing treatment.

Logo for The Stack.com data centre websiteIn this opinion piece for data centre news portal The Stack, we explore the rising role of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical sector.

As it stands, the NHS deals with 1 million patients every 36 hours. Increasing the use of big data has potential to transform the way healthcare is delivered. It has the scope to help detect, diagnose, treat, or manage untold diseases and conditions.

AI-chatbots are being trialled to reduce the pressure on front-line services. Wearable devices help disease management for people with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Automation could dramatically slash the amount of paperwork junior doctors and nurses must complete. Artificial intelligence is even helping to diagnose heart disease more accurately, thanks to ongoing trials at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

But this ongoing shift towards technology and big data throws up sizeable challenges too. As we all know, IT projects in the UK’s medical sector have a long and rather embarrassing track record.

Moving from a paper-based system to an electronic one primed with machine learning and AI means massive burdens in terms of storage and processing power. There are natural concerns about data protection and privacy. Last year’s WannaCry ransomware attack is still fresh in people’s memories.

We explain how data centres in healthcare need to be configured to meet at least Tier III standard. This provides N+1 redundancy to minimise the risk of any system failure.

In addition, we investigate NHS Digital’s replacement of its existing wide area network with what it is calling a decentralised ‘network of networks’, the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN). Data centre operators in the NHS and medical sector will need to ask whether they are HSCN compliant. If they aren’t, how do they address any shortcomings?

Find out more about the essential role of data centres in healthcare. Read the full article here