US telco Sprint announced a partnership this week with cloud storage service provider Pogoplug that will see Sprint offer its customers free cloud storage as part of their mobile services package.
Sprint said that beginning January 27 iPhone and Android users will be able to download the Pogoplug app and receive 5GB of free storage for backing up media and documents, with the option to upgrade to unlimited storage for $4.99 per month.
Sprint’s move to offer free cloud storage comes at a time when most American mobile telcos already have similar offerings in place.
Jonathan BrandonJonathan Brandon is editor of Business Cloud News where he covers anything and everything cloud.
Australian telco Telstra has continued efforts to bolster its Network Applications and Services (NAS) business unit through acquiring Readify. Ted Woodbery, VP, Product Strategy & Corporate Marketing at Synchronoss looks at the benefits of cloud storage as an affordable, scalable and secure alternative to hardware-based storage solutions.
SIGN UP TO OUR DAILY NEWS DIGESTReceive FREE Business Cloud news alerts straight to your inbox. SaaS for SMBs: The main meal, not the side saladWe know that telcos are well-placed to sell cloud services to small and medium-sized businesses. Tape backup system: Magnetic tape backup systems are widely used in the industry given their low cost-to-space ratio. Below are some of the considerations and recommended strategies when developing a data backup and disaster recovery plan for your practice. Talk to your EHR vendor: Regardless of which backup strategy(s) you select, ensure they are compatible with your EHR system. Automatic backups: Make sure that your system is set to back up automatically on a regular basis. Downtime: Even with highly redundant systems it is possible that a practice’s electronic records may be down for several hours before they can be restored. Before you throw up your hands in despair, remember that regardless of the need for backup strategies, electronic record systems are still more reliable than paper based systems.
This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Edgar Wilson is an independent consultant from Oregon who writes on trends in education, healthcare, and public policy. Editor, PhysBizTech, an online publication covering business and technology issues at small physician practices.

Megan Nichols is a science writer who enjoys writing about healthcare, psychology and other scientific fields of study. David Wiljer, PhD is Director, Knowledge Management and Innovation at University Health Network, Toronto. Sara Urowitz, MSW, PhD is Manager, Education Informatics and ELLICSR: Health, Wellness and Cancer Survivorship Centre and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. The AmericanEHR Blog features original commentary, opinion pieces, and news stories about Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and the meaningful use of health information technology.
Over the past year, the amount of TouchStore customers requesting our online backup service has increased by over 70%. Our Software faithfully accumulates your drug files, patient files, etc.  But, unless you back it up, all that data can be lost in a flash due to any one of a number of possible hardware or operating system failures.
Thieves are more likely to steal high-tech items such as your laptop or home computer.  These items are in high demand and can be sold quickly and easily. If you have our online backup service, it’s simple to restore your files to a new computer. We buy insurance for our homes and businesses, because disasters happen.  Think of your TouchStore backups as data insurance.
TouchStore provides our online backup service at a small cost of €15 per month to over 100 of our customers. TouchStore is your complete pharmacy management software running your day-to-day operations in the most effective way possible. With unlimited cloud storage, our customers can easily back up, access and share all their photos and videos from almost anywhere, eliminating the headaches around running out of space or losing an important memory,” he said. AT&T announced its Locker cloud backup service in November 2012, and Verizon launched its Verizon Cloud offering in April last year.
Telstra and Teleconfica are among the leading investors in enterprise storage and collaboration company Box, which largely caters to business customers and has agreements in place with operators like EE and Deutsche Telekom to offer the services to enterprises. If you use a tape based system it is important to keep copies of the backup off-site in case of natural disaster.
Most vendor backup services also help you restore both the data and software for your practice in the event of a failure. In some cases, updates to the EHR system can modify indexing of the database, potentially causing unforeseen data losses. Practices that have undertaken substantial customizations of their EHR system are at higher risk of data discrepancy due to indexing issues.

When configuring the backup timetable, consider how much data you are comfortable losing (e.g. The safest strategies frequently involve using a combination of backup options so that if one backup fails, the other is present.
In such cases you may need to revert to paper or other documentation strategies in the interim. If your practice has a PACS system that stores radiology or other image files, you may need a different strategy to maintain this data given the amount of memory these types of files require. ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein. Griskewicz is the Senior Director of Healthcare Information Systems for the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
Discussion is strongly encouraged to enhance the current EHR knowledge base, facilitating the successful adoption and optimum use of EHRs and related health IT products and services. If you do not have this service already and wish to avail, please call our office on 061-225655.
During our conversations it became clear that his seven-doctor practice in rural Colorado had been using an EHR system for the past 10 years, and had purged paper charts a couple of years ago. However, the cost of maintaining this type of redundancy may be prohibitive especially if your practice has multiple terabytes of data. Regardless, be prepared to revert to a fax-based system is interfaces are down and cannot be easily brought up again. However, one night their primary server experienced a “melt down” and when the practice tried to restore the system from their backup server they discovered that while the backup server had been successfully backing up the software it was not capturing any patient data. After spending over $75,000 attempting to restore their records from the destroyed server, they finally admitted defeat.
As a provider he was devastated by what this meant for his patients, many of whom lost their only medical records as a result of this failure, and as a businessman he was concerned about the legal and monetary consequences of the data loss. While this is an extreme example, in the past year I have talked to over a dozen distraught providers and office managers who suffered “catastrophic” data losses. It is important to remember that one of the critical requirements when running a health IT enabled practice is the effective backup of the personal health data.

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