Now that data is becoming bigger, where do we store and maintain it? Cloud-computing, the practice of using remote servers hosted on the internet to process data rather than on a local server, is becoming a more widely used method.
The San Diego Supercomputer Center has created a healthcare hybrid cloud environment, which is an interconnected infrastructure that uses local and public cloud computing such as third-party vendors such as Amazon Web Services or Azure. The main difference is the physical control; local cloud computing is managed by on-site staff while public cloud computing is managed by the third-party vendors. The benefits to having a hybrid method of managing data is having a larger scalability and more automation while also being able to provide for specific needs of the consumer.
Many EHR systems are moving their services to cloud-computing infrastructures. Microsoft Azure is being used to store genomic data, which can take up to 200 gigabytes of space. This data has been anonymized for sharing purposes in public data repositories. In addiction to increased storage, there is also an increased need for transparency. Amazon Web Services has introduced blockchain technology targeted towards the healthcare industry. They plan on debuting new templates that will make it easier for users to optimize blockchain technology for projects and networks via open source frameworks.
Dr. Stanley Ahalt, CHiP associated faculty and also director of RENCI, is working on Water Science Software Institute project that aims to provide a cyberinfrastructure for managing and sharing data from the institute. He is also a co-Principle Investigator with DataNet Federation Consortium, an NSF project, that aims to provide a platform for sharing, using, and managing data across science fields.