The Health Community Cloud Automation Partnership - a $US5 million, two year arrangement between Microsoft and Parallels - is focussed on developing cloud based solutions such as doctors, health administrators and insurance companies.
Parallels sells tools that allow resellers, or service aggregators, to bring together a raft of different services sold on a cloud style basis, and then have a single billing mechanism. Its tools are being used in Australia by local service provider UberGlobal Enterprise.
At the core of the Parallels offerings are a virtualisation platform; control panels to manage virtualised environments; and the automation and billing tools that allow service providers to orchestrate bundles of services from multiple sources for individual users.
Microsoft meanwhile brings a range of systems and applications software, and a range of systems already developed for the health sector.
In April the Government and National ehealth Transition Authority (Nehta) unveiled the draft concept of operations document regarding the use of personally controlled electronic health records (PCEHR) in Australia which are a cornerstone of the planned reforms. This outlines a regime which will allow Australians to allow nominated healthcare professionals to access and share their centrally located health records.
The missing link for many healthcare providers has been a locally based services company which will manage both the data in the record and secure access to it. For healthcare providers the idea of using cloud based solutions where data is stored offshore is unacceptable.
'Our taken on this is that with a large number of federal agencies the data needs to remain onshore and in a highly secure, private environment.'
Mr Sharpe said 'What we have developed is the secure platform for how to roll out their (e-health) requirements,' although it is likely that such a rollout is at least a year away. He said that Microsoft was already well engaged with the Department of Health, Nehta and Medicare and that as a result of Uber Global's relationship with Microsoft and Parallels 'We feel we have architected the main platform on which it (Australia's e-health system) can be based.'
'We have the mechanism for provisioning and servicing customers of the future health system'¦we have done a lot of the heavy lifting.'
John Eng, Parallels' VP Marketing and Alliances, said that as a result of investments by UberGlobal, Parallels and Microsoft the organisations were 'creating a reference architecture to accelerate' the rollout of e-health systems. Australia was seen as one of the launch-pads for the initiative along with the US.