HIPAA Holding Back Healthcare Cloud Application Adoption

A new survey conducted by Bitglass shows the adoption of cloud applications has grown considerably since 2014 across all industries, but healthcare cloud application adoption lags behind. Only the retail and utility industries have a lower overall adoption rate, according to the report.

Healthcare Cloud Application Adoption Increases by 350%

Compared to 2014, healthcare cloud application adoption has grown considerably. The percentage increase stands at 350%, having jumped from 8% to 36% over the course of a year. The rate of adoption may be up, yet the healthcare industry lags significantly behind other industries. Adoption by healthcare organizations is still being held back by HIPAA and fears about data security in the cloud.

It is a similar case for other heavily regulated industries such as the financial services, with adoption only slightly higher than the healthcare industry at just 37.5%. The Bitglass cloud adoption study shows that highly regulated have been slow to embrace the cloud, although those industries are fast catching up. Overall cloud adoption by regulated industries has grown from 15% in 2014 to 39% this year. The corresponding figures for unregulated industries are 26% last year and 53% this year. The faster pace of healthcare cloud application adoption is attributed to the provision of an increasing range of secure cloud applications that comply with HIPAA regulations.

BYOD and Lack of Suitable Security Solutions Also Holding Back Healthcare Cloud Application Adoption

Other reasons cited by BItglass for the poor healthcare cloud application adoption rates are the difficulties organizations have in finding suitable cloud security services. Then there is the issue of BYOD. Physicians are using mobile devices in the workplace, but many do not only work for one healthcare organization. They may only carry one mobile device, but they are often affiliated to a number of hospitals. Another problem is therefore mobile device management.

The report highlights that even though the healthcare industry has started to use cloud services more frequently, relatively few organizations are adopting cloud security best practices such as Single Sign-On (SSO). 4.8% of Office 365 subscribers use SSO, while just 0.39% of Google Apps users choose SSO.

The education industry also faces privacy issues, yet these have not hindered cloud service uptake. The industry leads the way with 83% adoption. Similarly, SSO is also not being adopted by the majority of educational institutions, with only 13% of Office users and 6.8% of Google Apps users choosing to implement this basic cloud security measure.

Full Industry Breakdown of Cloud Adoption Levels


Source: Bitglass Second Annual Cloud Adoption Report

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of NetSec.news