Rising to the unique challenges of digital transformation in healthcare

Eyad Baddar, SE Manager, Gulf

Digital transformation by nature is complex. It’s about delivering simplicity to all end users, but we as technologists know that this perceived simplicity is anything but in reality.

When it comes to healthcare, the complexity is increased ten-fold; lives are on the line. Downtime and security breaches are no longer just about lost revenue, they can make the difference between life and death. This is the main factor in the industry being traditionally risk adverse. And the first challenge we face when it comes to healthcare digital transformation.

The need for healthcare to become future ready

Working with some of the biggest healthcare providers in the region, I’ve seen what a difference digital transformation can make. I’ve seen how digitizing prescriptions has reduced errors and abuse, ensuring drugs such as antibiotics are not overused and remain effective. In Qatar specifically, I’ve seen how active/active data centers have maximized availability for hospitals, enabling the country to offer some of the most advanced patient care available.

The future of healthcare requires us as technologists to assist those on the frontline to elevate the offering even further. Emerging technologies pose a huge opportunity here, from robotics to AI to data analytics. But we also need to consider that frontline staff are not technologists, and they need solutions that will help, and not hinder, their ability to provide care to patients.

Infrastructure is the key

Providing the right tools to those on the frontline starts with having the right infrastructure in place to support, both for today and for the future. When it comes to healthcare, there are specific challenges which must be considered when selecting storage and server options.

  • It must be instantaneous

Decision making for doctors is extremely time sensitive. Making these decisions based on historical data will help ensure the best outcome for patients. Hence patient records and data need to be available immediately to those who need it, when they need it.

  • It must cope with volume

Healthcare is unique in terms of the duration that data needs to be stored for. Whereas companies may store information for 5-10 years for compliance or record keeping purposes, hospitals need to store confidential data for the duration of the patient’s lifetime, which results in data having to preserved and accessible across multiple generations of technology.

  • It has to be secure

Our healthcare records represent some of the most confidential information that exists about us, so of course security is a top priority. This combined with the need for it to also be available quickly to those who need it, adds additional complexity to the security requirements.

  • It has to be available all the time. With no exceptions.

As I mentioned in the opening of this blog, availability is crucial as lives are on the line. Availability of the data center needs to be at 100%, and in the event of downtime, data back-ups and recovery plans need to ensure that patient care is never compromised.

The regional advantage

The good news for us in the Gulf region, is that our healthcare systems are younger. Compared to other countries where systems have been in place for 50+ years, our lack of legacy systems is a huge advantage and enables us to accelerate digital transformation. So what do you need to do next?

It starts with the right partner, and that’s where we at Dell Technologies can support. We have a broad portfolio of servers, storage and digital solutions which enable us to meet your specific needs. Not only that, but we’ll work with you to identify those needs too, and find the best options when it comes to budget, availability and implementation plans.

Our ability to provide an end-to-end solution across the edge, core and cloud, helps to ensure that the infrastructure you select not only elevates your healthcare offering today, but is ready to support innovative uses of emerging technologies in the future. We also provide training and support to your IT teams so that you can truly leverage the power of the solutions you select.

Learn more about our full healthcare portfolio here or get in touch with us for more information.