Originally published August 5th, 2019 by Nathan Eddy at Healthcare IT News

ClearData, which specializes in helping healthcare organizations manage multi-cloud storage environments, has launched a new a software-as-a-service platform called Locate, designed to trace sensitive healthcare data in the cloud.

The platform could help healthcare organizations build a more comprehensive and secure protected health information inventory within Kubernetes workloads on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure, the company says.

The technology gives health systems the ability to accurately trace huge amounts of distributed patient records through various systems, giving payers, providers and life science organizations with more insight into their data to trace PHI when leveraging microservices.

Microservices can provide more efficient consumption of compute services with the ability to quickly scale up or down, allowing health systems to pay only for what they need in the public cloud.

These microservices also can provide protection to PHI because rather than PHI living and moving throughout one singular monolithic environment, packets are moving in much smaller batches that in essence, limit the blast zone if a compromise occurs.

ClearData’s Locate platform is powered by the company’s Healthcare Aware Distributed Tracing technology, which leverages machine learning technology and was launched earlier this year at HIMSS19.

Maintenance of PHI inventories is not only a good practice, but also a requirement, thanks to recent regulations that protect citizens rights such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

ClearData, IBM, PureStorage and others are positioning themselves for an emerging an environment where providers rely on a mix of public and private secure clouds for their data—in August, ClearData earned a new HITRUST certification for its cloud security offerings.

While payers have shown a preference for private cloud, new research suggests many will deploy connected health solutions in public clouds within two years.

Sharing systems and data, speed to market and agility and improved security are among the reasons payers are making the move to cloud.

According to a 2018 survey by research firm IDC, there is a preference for private cloud over public cloud by both payers and providers. The difference is modest, however, indicating that healthcare organizations are becoming increasingly more comfortable with public cloud options.

Other third platform technologies like big data and analytics solutions help derive insights from patient data aggregated across the enterprise and multiple touch points such as consumer monitoring and mobile devices.

The GDPR laws, for example, provide EU citizens with many rights, including the right to be forgotten–to be able to erase a person’s records, the administrator must know where their PHI is.

“We’ve come a long way since healthcare was at odds with the public cloud, Matt Ferrari, Co-Founder & Former CTO at ClearData, said in a statement. “However, the ability to track sensitive data as it moves from point A to Z was missing from the narrative and represented a huge vulnerability for healthcare organizations.”

“Today, if you routinely process tens of thousands of patient records through your application, you would have to notify all those patients of a suspected breach when, in reality, only 200 records may have been impacted,” he explained. “ClearDATA Locate can dramatically change the outcome for healthcare organizations and patients.”