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EU Consortium to Trial Health Cloud
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, November 29, 2010
Focus: Internet Governance
Created: Nov 29, 2010

The European Union has launched a €7.5 million (US$10.1 million) project called Trustworthy Clouds (TClouds) to test how cloud computing could be applied to healthcare to treat patients outside of a hospital setting.

To demonstrate how healthcare costs can be reduced without compromising on patients’ privacy, San Raffaele Hospital in Italy will coordinate with a home healthcare service to care for patients remotely—monitoring, diagnosing and assisting patients outside of a hospital setting.

Information from prescription to delivery, intake, and reimbursement will be stored in the cloud for patients, doctors and pharmacies to access.

According to the TClouds web site, both industries were chosen for their “social significance”.

Dr Christian Cachin, Cryptographer with IBM Research Zurich, explained to FutureGov Asia Pacific: “Maintaining privacy when it comes to your personal medical records is of the utmost importance to citizens, insurance providers and hospitals, so we thought this would provide good proof.”

Dr Matthias Schunter, technical leader for the TClouds Project, said the research wants to show that “the rewards in terms of both cost efficiencies and smarter services can be achieved by using advanced cloud technology”.

While the benefits of cloud computing abound, Cachin said that “it is critical data that many organisations may think twice about keeping in a cloud. We hope to change that perception.”

With cloud computing perceptions changed, the IBM-led project aims to encourage cloud adoption “so everyone can benefit equally and adopt cloud services for their needs”.

To address the security issues, scientists will build an advanced ‘Cloud of Clouds’ framework for the project — providing multiple back-ups of the TClouds data and applications in case of a hardware failure or intrusion.

Besides the advanced technology, TClouds will also look into the legal, social and business aspects of cross-border cloud computing; write cloud computing service agreements; build open APIs (application programming interfaces) and secure cloud management components; and, develop user-centric requirements like languages and accessibility.

Cachin said: “TClouds will add a multi-national European perspective that is also applicable to the Asia Pacific region. We hope that some pieces will be able to be reused throughout the world.”

Work started on TClouds in October and is expected to be completed by September 2013.

Among those involved are corporate and public organisations and academic research institutes including Technikon Research and Planning, IBM, Philips Electronics, Energias de Portugal, EFACEC, San Raffaele Hospital, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, University of Oxford and Politecnico di Torino.


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