Europe’s Digital Agenda: Safe Cloud Computing

The European Union is seeking to unify the policies of its numerous constituent countries with a Pan-European open data portal.

Commissioner Nellie Kroes of the EU has spoken widely in recent months about Europe’s economic need to catch up to the United States in migrating to the cloud (ie big data) and taking advantage of massive strides in computing power.
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Ms. Kroes uses the decoding of the human genome as one example of the way that sheer computational power is enabling new tasks to be accomplished via big data.

As with all discussions about the cloud , and particularly with regard to healthcare information, there is a need to balance privacy of personal health information (PHI), on the one hand, with enhancing the delivery of healthcare services through the use of electronic medical records (EMR) and other technologies that use the cloud to store, transmit, and analyze health conditions.

The short answer to the viability of the Commissioner’s proposal is that yes; just as in the United States, the cloud will come to permeate healthcare. Here in the States, the HITECH Act mandates the adoption of EMR technologies, so the cloud is not going away.

Advances in cyber-security will lead the way to a safer cloud computing environment; one in which personal information can be stored with a reasonable degree of security and integrity, using the internet as a medium.

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