Cloud computing reaches the healthcare industry

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A London hospital is taking part in a pilot scheme which could revolutionise communications between doctors and patients. The Chelsea and Westminster H...

A London hospital is taking part in a pilot scheme which could revolutionise communications between doctors and patients.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is testing cloud computing to see how it can act as an online health platform to provide shared access to patient files and information.

It is thought that integrating cloud computing into the healthcare system would speed up patient-doctor communications and give patients more control over who can access their records.

The pilot scheme is set to launch in July this year and comes after 18 months of development by Flexiant, a company which specialises in cloud computing.

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Flexiant have said that security will be paramount to the success of the project which will implement a multi-factor authentication process.

The hospital is also working closely with researchers at the Edinburgh Napier University to discuss how cloud computing will replace the traditional system of paper medical records.

Professor Bill Buchanan, from the University said that the current medical record system in the UK often meant that data was not shared effectively between patients and among healthcare professionals.

He said in an interview: “Our system allows for data to be stored with its context, such as where it was captured, and then used in whatever way is necessary through well-managed clinical services.”

Ultimately, the use of cloud computing is likely to empower patients as they will be able to exercise full control over who has access to their results.

They will be able to invite people they trust to view their results, individuals such as GP’s, carers and family members, those who need to know their results.

The project has been funded by the Technology Strategy Board and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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