Brazil shifts public health websites to the cloud

The Ministry of Health portal and websites relating to the coronavirus pandemic have migrated to an environment operated by Embratel.

The Brazilian government has shifted core public health websites to the cloud in a move intended to ensure the stability and security of data relating to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

As part of the deal agreed between Brazil's Ministry of Health and telecommunications provider Embratel, the government's main coronavirus information portal and app as well as a notifications website used by healthcare professionals and the Ministry of Health's website have all been migrated to the cloud.

The migration is intended to ensure a reliable and secure transfer of information to the National Healthcare Data Network, part of wider digital transformation efforts in public healthcare in Brazil. The initiative is part of the scope of a cloud migration contract between Embratel and the Brazilian federal government, where the Ministry of Health is the largest ongoing project.

According to the director at Datasus, the information technology department of the national public health system, Jacson Barros, the shift to the cloud "paves the road for the strengthening of the digital healthcare strategy for Brazil."

Patient information at approximately half of all Brazilian primary care hospitals is not digitized. In the high complexity healthcare network, which includes hospitals with intensive care units, 77% of hospitals with more than 50 beds are not digitized. The Ministry of Health currently relies on data relayed monthly by the primary care network and pharmacies from the public healthcare system.

With the new cloud-based system, it is hoped that the information that the government holds on public healthcare will be kept up to date. Health professionals in organizations signing up for the system will get access to patient information such as medication previously prescribed, as well as exams and vaccination history, which are shared with the consent from patients.