Healthcare Data

Global Healthcare Data Storage: Keeping Patient Information Secure On A Massive Scale


The volume of healthcare data being generated globally is enormous and growing exponentially every year. Alongside this vast amount of sensitive patient information comes the immense responsibility of securely storing it all. How are organizations around the world handling the daunting task of healthcare data storage at such a massive scale?

The Rapid Rise In Healthcare Data

It is estimated that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of Healthcare Data is generated each day. Much of this data comes from electronic health records, medical imaging files, genome sequencing results, wearable device readings, and other digital sources. The widespread adoption of electronic health records alone has caused healthcare data volumes to skyrocket in recent decades.

For perspective, the average hospital generates over 500 terabytes of new data annually just from digital radiology files. Add to that records from every patient encounter, test result, prescription, billing code and more. It all adds up to unfathomable amounts of data that healthcare providers must store, manage and protect.

New technologies like telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and AI/machine learning are only serving to accelerate data growth even further. By 2025, it is predicted the global healthcare industry will produce over 2,300 exabytes of data per year. That massive scale brings both opportunities and challenges when it comes to effectively storing and securing such an enormous trove of sensitive patient records.

The Need For Advanced Storage Solutions

Traditional on-premise storage systems simply cannot keep pace with the speed and volume at which healthcare data is now being created. Outdated storage infrastructures struggle under the data overload, resulting in decreased performance, higher costs and security vulnerabilities.

To efficiently manage healthcare’s big data landscape, organizations are increasingly adopting cloud and hybrid storage models. The scalability, flexibility and low upfront costs of the cloud make it ideal for accommodating unpredictable surges in data storage needs. Hybrid storage blends on-premise systems for performance-sensitive workloads with public/private cloud for long-term archiving and disaster recovery.

Advanced storage technologies like all-flash arrays, object storage and software-defined storage are also being widely adopted. These solutions deliver the performance, capacity and features needed to optimize unstructured medical imaging files, genomic sequences, IoT sensor streams and other complex data types. With data growth doubling every 18 months, scalable infrastructure is paramount for future-proof healthcare data storage.

Safeguarding Sensitive Records

Of course, with healthcare records comes tremendous responsibility to safeguard patients’ private health information. Regulated by laws like HIPAA in the US and GDPR in Europe, medical providers must deploy industrial-grade security for any data infrastructure used to store patient records – whether on-premise or in the cloud.

Common security measures includes multilayered authentication, robust encryption of data both in transit and at rest, activity monitoring and anomaly detection, immutable backups, and carefully segmented access control down to the file level. With cyberattacks on the healthcare industry rising annually, robust data security has become non-negotiable for maintaining patient trust.

Leading healthcare providers are pairing advanced storage solutions with security-focused technologies like tokenization, blockchain-based record management and content disarmament. The goal is protecting sensitive records while maintaining performance and usability of the data management platform. Data governance policies around storage and retrieval also aim to lower insider risks.

Global Implementations

From major hospital networks to national healthcare ministries, organizations worldwide have undertaken impressive digital transformation efforts centered around modern data storage infrastructure. Here are a few examples:

– The UK’s National Health Service invested over $4.25 billion to deploy an Amazon Web Services-based system allowing universal access to medical records across the country.

– Germany’s Barmer Krankenkasse health insurance provider consolidated 65 disparate storage systems into a Hitachi Content Platform backend supporting 10,000 users.

– South Korea’s Samsung Medical Center deployed an all-flash Dell EMC storage array as the core of its clinical system supporting 57,000 patient visits daily.

– In Latin America, DASA group implemented Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure for scalable storage of radiology, pathology and other media across its network of over 200 medical centers.

With healthcare’s digital gold rush in full swing, data management demands continue intensifying on a global scale. Advanced, secure storage solutions will remain crucial for healthcare providers striving to derive maximum clinical value from patient data, while upholding privacy in our data-deluged world.



  1. Source: CoherentMI, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it