By 2025, healthcare will have surpassed the media and entertainment sector when it comes to data created, making a recent announcement from NetApp a significant one.

Azure Netapp Files is now ready for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), NetApp recently announced in a blog post. This means that patient data protected under HIPAA is now covered under the Microsoft Business Associate Agreements (BAA), having undergone audits conducted by accredited independent auditors for the Microsoft ISO/IEC 27001 certification.

“Data is vital to the healthcare industry. As 2020 unfolds, the trend toward embracing the value of data – both historical and active – and using insights garnered from that data to deliver better, more accurate patient outcomes will intensify. Azure NetApp Files is the ideal platform to support data-driven care because it’s fast, scalable, simple to use, and secure,” according to Dave Nesvisky, vice-president of NetApp’s Healthcare division, who was quoted in NetApp’s blog post about the announcement.

The HIPAA law governs the use, disclosure, and safeguarding of protected health information (PHI) for healthcare providers and related healthcare organizations, as well as associates, including the cloud service providers, that process PHI on their behalf.

In March 2018, Microsoft released automation for HIPAA/HITRUST compliance in the form of its new Azure Security and Compliance Blueprint for HIPAA/HITRUST – Health Data & AI. Azure Blueprints by Microsoft are resources to help build and launch cloud-powered applications that comply with stringent regulations and standards. Included in the blueprints are reference architectures, compliance guidance and deployment scripts.