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Venture capitalists invested 45 percent more in digital health in 2012, up from 2011, according to Mobihealthnews.com and a study by Rock health. That’s a total of $1.4 billion compared to the initial investment of $968 million. The study reports the total number of deals increased by 56 percent.
Healthcare Software as a Service (Saas)
The growth in digital health funding shows a 19 percent increase in healthcare-related software, and 46 percent in digital health overall, while a 4 percent decline in biotechnology and 16 percent decrease in medical device investment proves that traditional healthcare delivery models are falling by the wayside. Healthcare software as a service (Saas) companies are filling the demand for easily accessible, online applications that can securely collect, store and share all types of healthcare data, from storage-intensive medical imaging data to clinical notations.
However, most of the numbers were from a few major deals, including platforms that provide tools for users to compare insurance costs, find family caregivers and for employees to find the right physician. As predicted by many in the industry, health consumer engagement is the current focus of the digital health movement. $237 million accounted for health consumer engagement investments in 2012.
Regardless of what type of platform, healthcare SaaS companies are on the hook to provide a HIPAA compliant service to their healthcare clients that deal with protected health information (PHI), down to the servers they host their application and data on. If outsourced, data hosting providers must also meet HIPAA compliance by virtue of undergoing an independent HIPAA audit against the OCR Audit Protocol criteria. This criteria is the latest set of recommended auditing standards released by the official governing entity of HIPAA, the Office for Civil Rights.
HIPAA Compliant Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
With the growth of cloud SaaS companies, the cloud computing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is also growing to meet the demand for IT infrastructure support for companies that don’t want to spend the resources needed to build, maintain and staff a HIPAA compliant environment. The cloud IaaS spending is projected to exceed $72 billion by 2016, growing 42 percent; a prediction made in a Gartner market analysis report on cloud services.
HIPAA compliant cloud computing offers flexibility and scalability with the ability to add servers as demand increases. Cloud-based disaster recovery also improves recovery times by eliminating tape backup, and improves accuracy by replicating the entire virtual server. Disaster recovery is important when it comes to supporting the healthcare industry, as ensuring ePHI (electronic protected health information) availability and integrity is one of the primary pillars of the HIPAA Security Rule.
What should healthcare providers and healthcare SaaS providers look for in a compliant host/IaaS provider? Find out which questions to ask in our E-Tip, Five Questions to Ask Your HIPAA Hosting Provider.
Learn about the specific HIPAA requirements for HIPAA hosting with IT vendors with our HIPAA Compliant Hosting white paper. With 36 pages of statistics, diagrams and researched information sourced from engineers and a CHSS (Certified HIPAA Security Specialist), this white paper is your complete guide to HIPAA hosting.