Developing cloud offerings that meet the requirements of the health care industry isn't easy, but ViaWest has given it the ol' college try. The company launched KINECTed Health Cloud, a purpose-built cloud services offering designed for the health care and life sciences sectors.

KINECTed Health Cloud has been designated as HIPAA-compliant. It's an audit-ready compliance-as-a-service (CaaS) cloud offering that ViaWest stated meets the IT and compliance needs for businesses that handle electronic protected health information.

HIPAA (aka the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) has several strict requirements related to the way patient data is handled and stored. Those in the health profession also have to make their records auditable, which is the trickier part. ViaWest has aimed to make that simpler.

Good thing, too. Because the security of health care organizations isn't something to brag about. According to the Ponemon Institute, 94 percent of health care organizations had at least one data in the past two years. The cost to them? From $10,000 to more than $1 million. It's a big risk for clients, and it's a huge liability for health care companies.

"The health care environment has become much more complex," said Jason Carolan, ViaWest CTO, in a prepared statement. "ViaWest has developed its KINECTed Health Cloud to specifically address HIPAA and HHS compliance requirements. In an effort to relieve the pressure for companies facing potential fines and compliance breaches, ViaWest can now immediately help companies to determine their organization's risk, enforce further data privacy actions and establish security enforcement strategies that will help them meet their compliance goals."

Adhering to such strict requirements as more health care organizations switch to the cloud is tricky at best, so there is a growing opportunity for companies like ViaWest and other cloud providers to help make it simpler. Health care companies are like any other business, in that they want to take advantage of the most suitable technologies to draw out efficiencies in their own organizations. They just need the right safeguards in place.