The Healthcare Ecosystem’s Success Walk in the Clouds: The State of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

The rapid growth and the revolutionary impact of cloud computing in healthcare over the recent years have been phenomenal, with the entire care ecosystem investing extensively in cloud technology. Studies suggest that the healthcare cloud computing market across the globe has the potential to grow at a CAGR of about 12% until the year 2022, with cost reduction being the primary driver. But what else has led to this disruptive trend for cloud computing across every component of healthcare?

Let’s take a look.

Patients transforming into consumers

Today’s patients are on par with their care providers, playing an equal role in critical decision-making and in tracking their treatment. Hence, the concept of care has gone way beyond providing treatment toward delivering an exemplary care experience. With technology-empowered and personalized experiences enhancing their activities of daily living, from 24*7 online shopping to click-of-a-button banking, their expectations from the healthcare industry is equally high. So the need for cloud-based solutions in delivering services, such as effortless appointment booking, remote consultation, automated alerts, and online medical record maintenance, with anytime, anywhere, and any device access has become more pronounced than ever.

Digitization leading to data excess

Healthcare’s first step toward automation was through digitization of its paperwork. This led to extensive data that could not be stored locally after a point. The concept of cloud computing came in as a savior, providing the brilliant option of storing critical information remotely in real time without any fear of data loss. This evolved into other innovative trends, including blockchain technology in healthcare for a structured, permission-based, and monitored information sharing across the network; extensive data analytics and real-time insights; and complete visibility across the care ecosystem. So cloud computing has changed the challenge of data excess into an opportunity to map data and deliver time-critical insights to every care stakeholder.

A surge of futuristic technologies

Cloud computing has served as a critical backbone in ushering in the current crop of technological innovations in healthcare, from IoT to artificial intelligence. These technologies

have helped expand the concept of care from treatment to wellness. Today, almost everybody has an app or a wearable monitoring their exercise patterns, diets, heart rate, and other critical parameters, which instantly warns them in case of any discrepancy. Remote monitoring of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or remote geriatric care has become a reality thanks to cloud computing–enabled IoT solutions. AI-driven technologies that have created an entire generation of “smart” hospitals and “smart” interactive bots that have cloud computing as their foundation.

Delivering connected care to improve efficiency

The care industry has moved out its siloed approach, which often derailed its efficiency. The patients were frustrated, running between diagnostic labs, doctor appointments, and pharmacies, while physicians were crashing under the burden of administrative responsibilities, incomplete information, and an opaque network of stakeholders. Cloud platforms changed this scenario completely by introducing the concept of data sharing and collaborative treatment approaches. Cloud-based image sharing, lab reporting, pharmacy services established a single version of truth and the ability for any stakeholder to access valuable information anytime from anywhere. This helps care providers take timely decisions and also collaborate with their peers for second opinions.

Cloud computing in healthcare – a longer way to go

Despite the spectacular advances, cloud computing in healthcare still has a longer way to go. In today’s world of rising concerns of data privacy, security is still a primary concern that most cloud computing solution providers must overcome. The ransomware attack on NHS last year is just an example of the possible damage of a leaky cloud service. But with recent updates in HIPAA regulations, solutions such as data encryption, and permission-based data management, the cloud is increasingly becoming a airtight system. If the current global numbers are any indicators, cloud computing is definitely ranked among one of the most critical drivers of the care landscape. So if you do not make your move right now, you might soon be left far behind in the race for creating a patient-centric care experience.

Author : Rajmohan

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