Are You Unlocking the Potential of Your Healthcare Data?

All healthcare organisations have a considerable amount of very sensitive data such as patients, doctors, partners. This data will only grow as new digital services are launched and information generated from new sources & devices increases.

How can you unlock this information and use it to shape your future strategy? Using the latest Cloud based tools such as Data lakes, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence you can identify trends incredibly quickly regardless of the size of the data set.

If we take Artificial Intelligence (AI) for example, diagnostics have seen significant developments in rapid image recognition, symptom checking and risk stratification. AI could also personalise health screening and treatments for cancer patients, whilst enabling clinicians to better utilise their skills, informing decisions and saving time.

There are many other ways to utilise this technology, such as tracking the spread of viruses, identifying where to allocate resources or to predict re-admission rates.

Do You Have the In-house Expertise to Implement these Cloud Services?

If not, how do you decide which provider to choose? We would recommend taking the following considerations beforehand:

How Easy is it to Build Out Your Data Lake and what Tools do They have to Help You?

Conceptualising and building out a Data lake is not straightforward, there are many steps and roles needed to accomplish this task which could take anything from 3 to 12 months, depending on your end goal. Having tools such as AWS Lake Formation will provide an automated, highly available and cost-effective Data lake that provides a user-friendly console for searching and requesting datasets.

What Standards and Open-source Formats are Compatible?

The key here is not to get locked into proprietary formats or systems that could tie you to one cloud platform or restrict your ability to move or process data. It’s imperative to build open data lakes, where data is stored in an open format and accessed through open, standards-based interfaces.

How Secure is their Infrastructure and what Certifications do they have in Place?

It’s critical that security is the foundation for which their services are built, they must have a security first perspective and be able to provide evidence of independent audit and certificates. We touched on this in more detail in a previous article, you can find the details here.

How Scalable and Cost Effective are They?

Data is growing exponentially but your costs shouldn’t follow suit. Your chosen provider should have features that help reduce the cost of your compute usage such as auto-scaling and integration with discounted services. For example, Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud that are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices.

Do They Provide Analytics Training and Certification?

Providing your staff, the time to upskill and use analytics will provide you a better return on investment and greatly assist your strategy and decision making for future key healthcare initiatives.


You can’t underestimate the workload of such a large project, especially when your teams are already under pressure and stretched. It is critical that your provider has the expertise to ensure the transition is well planned and can guide you through the process. They need to be skilled in and make the best use of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide the most cost effective and smart implementation for your Data lake.