Health Care News: Terremark, IBM, Online Tech, Consonus

IBM's Watson to develop patient care applications for health insurer WellPoint, Terremark selected by CareCloud, Online Tech achieves HIPAA compliance, Consonus relocates a large healthcare data center.

John Rath

September 15, 2011

4 Min Read
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The IBM Watson supercomputer.


The IBM Watson supercomputer will help WellPoint launch patient care applications.


Here’s our review of noteworthy health care links for the data center industry:

IBM and WellPoint put Watson to work. IBM and WellPoint (WLP) announced an agreement today to create the first commercial applications of the IBM Watson technology. Earlier this year IBM's Watson supercomputer defeated top Jeopardy champions in a three day match. Now Watson will be used to develop and launch solutions to help improve patient care through the delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based health care for millions of Americans. IBM will develop the base Watson healthcare technology on which WellPoint's solution will run. Well-suited for health care, Watson can sift through an equivalent of about 1 million books or roughly 200 million pages of data, and analyze this information and provide precise responses in less than three seconds. IBM will develop Watson to have the ability to look at massive amounts of medical literature, population health data, and even a patient's health record, in compliance with applicable privacy and security laws, to answer profoundly complex questions. "Imagine having the ability to take in all the information around a patient's medical care -- symptoms, findings, patient interviews and diagnostic studies," " said Sam Nussbaum, M.D., WellPoint's Chief Medical Officer. "Then, imagine using Watson analytic capabilities to consider all of the prior cases, the state-of-the-art clinical knowledge in the medical literature and clinical best practices to help a physician advance a diagnosis and guide a course of treatment."

Terremark selected by CareCloud.  Terremark, a Verizon Company, announced that it is enabling CareCloud, a healthcare management solutions provider, to successfully grow its business and help modernize hundreds of health care practices across the United States via the cloud. Delivered through the Software as a Service model CareCloud addresses common challenges such as practice management, electronic health records and revenue cycle management. Using the Terremark Infrastructure as a Service solution CareCloud can grow from start-up to an established leader by using the flexible solution that gives them the same resources as large enterprises. "Terremark's portfolio of secure infrastructure solutions is a natural fit to integrate into our platform," said Albert Santalo, president and CEO of CareCloud. "As a cloud-based company that serves a growing network of healthcare businesses and partners, we require the kind of agile IT infrastructure platform with a dedicated resource pool for computing and storage, built-in security and stringent service level agreement terms that the Terremark's cloud computing infrastructure provides.

Online Tech achieves HIPAA Compliance.  Online Tech announced that they have achieved compliance across all 54 HIPAA citations and the complete set of 136 audited components when audited by an independent Certified HIPAA Professional and Certified Health Security Specialist.  In addition to SAS70, SSAE 16 and SOC2 and SOC3 reports, Online Tech's growing health care client base drove the additional compliance need to achieve HIPAA compliant hosting. “Being in healthcare, we have special needs for dealing with HIPAA compliance to provide business continuity, disaster recovery, security of the data, and restricting access to the data both physically and across the network,” explains Erik Yochum, Director of Information Technology at Online Tech customer Michigan Multispecialty Physicians. “Online Tech has different power, network, and connectivity feeds coming in so that they can provide different ways of accessing the data. So if we have a power outage, we have access to our data and systems for patient care.”

Consonus relocates large healthcare data center.  Consonus announced that they have completed a successful data center relocation for High Point Regional Health System (HPRHS), a large healthcare system in North Carolina. The move took place after months of meticulous planning to ensure that confidential patient data and business-critical systems were transferred safely, securely, and with minimal downtime. When the customer forecasted an annual growth rate of 15% for both servers and storage they realized that they could not accomodate those needs in the existing data center location. Using a DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) tool Consonus was able to shorten planning by four months, saving HPRHS $60,000 in preparation and consulting time. “Consonus helped us through the entire process, defining the current environment and the desired future state, as well as helping design the path to migrate from one to the other. For each of the 8 move events, specific “day of move” plans were created jointly with application and infrastructure staff to ensure that everything happened as planned, in the timeframe needed, and with minimal disruption." said Thomas Northrup, manager of Technology Infrastructure for HPRHS.

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