Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding

David Wagner, Managing Editor | 3/7/2013 | 12 comments

David Wagner
If you're a healthcare CIO, we hope you've got a good plan for your growing storage needs.

Whether you keep your own in-house storage or choose cloud storage, your needs are going to increase exponentially. And you don't just have to store it all, you need to be able to organize and access the data, keep it secure, and ensure privacy compliance.

How fast are your healthcare data demands increasing? This infographic, courtesy of NetApp, should give you a good idea:

(Source: NetApp)
(Source: NetApp)

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Susan Nunziata   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 5:37:59 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Dave: Oh, there you go being realistic again. For the right amount of $$ anything can happen. The real question is, where's the $$ coming from to make this a reality. So, in that sense, you're right to be skeptical.
David Wagner   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 5:20:25 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Susan- Definitely. i guess i'm just doubting that we're going to pull all of this together by 2015.
Susan Nunziata   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 5:18:43 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Dave: Well, that's where sensible app and GUI design comes in. Somebody has to make decisions separating wheat from chaff so that mobile interface shows the most important information in the most timely manner. Query options can relay more if the healthcare practitioner needs more or has specific questions. The genius will be in the app design and interface. you want the ocean of information delivered by the bucketful, basically. 
David Wagner   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 5:15:38 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Susan- True enough. i meant literally how do you get that much data to pass on a screen.
Susan Nunziata   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 5:14:02 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Dave: that's where in-memory computing comes in. I expect enormous strides to be made in this regard in the next few years. Here's an interesting case study about Unliever, though it does not relate specifically to healtcare it gives you an idea of what in-memory computing can do for big data analysis. 
David Wagner   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 4:44:19 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Susan- Agreed that the network is a bigger deal, but how do you even visualize that data on a mobile device in a reasonable time frame?
Susan Nunziata   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/15/2013 2:58:40 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
@Dave: It is hard to imagine. The challenge is going to be to the network not the device. In the future, I suspect the devices used to work with this information will not store it, they will be dumb clients used to pull information and applications down from private or public cloud. It's the only possible way this could work IMHO, though I'd love to hear others' ideas about this.

What that is going to mean for network bandwidth is a whole other debate -- huge challenges ahead for network architects for sure.
David Wagner   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/14/2013 3:23:01 PM
Re: Astonishing numbers
Frankly, i find this number impossibly ridiculous and unbelieveable. They're saying that the data we accumlate from a single visit would fit on the average device that any end user in a hospital would use. Not on their tablet, not their COW, not their laptop.

And yet they're expecting doctors and other professionals to ACCESS this data as part of best practices of doing medicine. How? On what network? With what device?

What sort of software are they goign to be able to create to cram this data onto a tablet or even a lap top to be read in any organized way without making them explode?
Henrisha   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/13/2013 12:45:27 AM
Re: In this case, aspirin is not enough.
Perhaps they didn't expect the boom to come this soon, but I find it ridiculous that the data isn't structured. You're right. There's little point to storing all this data if you can't really access it or use it when time comes.
Susan Nunziata   Healthcare Storage Needs Are Exploding   3/11/2013 9:00:23 PM
Astonishing numbers
It is estimated that by 2015 the average hospital will generate 665TB of data. 

Yowzaaa. To take the human body analogy a little further, how much of that data will be "junk food" versus meaningingful information? how much of it will be duplicate data from disparate systems? There's alot of work ahead for healthcare CIOs and data specialists to make sense of all of this. It's as much about storage as about making meaningful use of the information at hand, from the perspectives of improving individual care as well as potential widespread research benefits once we figure out how to manage all this information. 

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