Revolution Next! Cloud Computing and Healthcare Industry
In a world that is turning to the cloud to make a difference, the healthcare industry is not very far behind!
With cloud computing making major progress in almost every industry, the health industry is also beginning to see its benefits especially catering to the insatiable demands of tech-savvy patients.
Cloud computing is revolutionizing the functioning of the healthcare industry in a way that it is able to benefit people at both the providing and receiving ends.
In recent years, people take to the internet for almost every solution and they expect the same for healthcare. Every patient is a ‘mini doctor’ these days with their ‘web-borrowed’ knowledge on medicine, thanks to the internet!
Let us look at some trends that the health industry is witnessing with its adoption of cloud computing services:
- Connecting Patients with Health Experts
Going by some time-bound or location-bound situations, it may be difficult for patients to visit their physicians and get the required treatment or address their health concerns. In such situations, cloud computing bridges the gap between the physician and patient by providing case-related expert solutions. Now, practitioners and interns are capable of tackling emergency situations with the help of real-time assistance, despite their limited knowledge.
- Cost-Effective Solutions with Protected Processing
Businesses are constantly under pressure of reducing operational costs while trying to meet increasing infrastructure, administration and resource costs. Adding to their woes, rigid governmental policies demand that they improve the quality of healthcare provision and stick to the industry standards. Data theft and later recovery of the same information also creates anxiety in the minds of owners who have a lot of information and data under their care. The cloud hits two birds with one aim when it offers owners the options of scalability, pay-as-you-go and secure information exchange with backup options like disaster recovery.
- Better Information, Better Treatment
Prior to the dawn of technology and more importantly the internet, the healthcare industry was about cupboards and desks with thousands of files. Fast forward to the 21st century, these files are now available on computers and are easily transferrable to multiple locations people with the help of the cloud. Handwritten documents can make physicians vary of taking next steps and it may be painful to juggle between a number of files spread across a table for analyzing multiple documents. With cloud-based applications, data analysis becomes easy and error-free, and physicians are able to make informed decisions for patients depending on that data.
- Dependence on Hybrid Cloud Services –Very few healthcare providers are completely dependent on private or public cloud computing services. They’re rather looking for hybrid cloud computing services that let them operate with on-premise, private and third-party public cloud services. This creates multiple resource points within an organization to refer to. Cloud software consulting services give healthcare provisioners the freedom of choice to decide which apps stay on-premise while which can safely reside on the cloud.
- Collaboration within the Organization
Other than provisioning access to centralized data and patient-related information from any part of the world, cloud computing allows hospital staff, medical reps and doctors work on common lines in addressing the health challenges faced by patients in the ‘nick of time’. Remote conferencing helps practitioners also connect on case or patient-related advice.
- Because Extensive Research is Good Research!
Cloud computing services are making doctors and health experts provide world-class solutions. Big data is shared and accessed from multiple sites, and is easily processed into concise, easy-to refer information through user-friendly cloud applications that help analysts make sound judgements and provide well-guided treatments. While cloud computing is becoming an important part of the healthcare industry, there are several challenges that healthcare organizations will need to keep a tab on when they choose to work with the cloud.
Some of the challenges are:
- Holding on to Redundant Technology – Many healthcare companies prefer to use legacy systems and old technology to serve their day-today needs and that’s why they’re unable to stay ahead of the mounting pressure and unceasing demand. Similarly, they tend to adopt new technologies without thinking if it will help some older technologies. What they don’t consider is the usage of tools that integrate old and new technologies and practices, more like a hybrid cloud computing
- Monitoring Big Data Centers – Traditional healthcare apps need to be installed on individual servers within hospitals demanding large amount of CPU, discs and resources and hampers functionality and ease of usage. But, cloud data centers are scalable and are capable of handling hundreds of transactions per day while being available throughout the year. Therefore, it becomes challenging to monitor these interfaces. Organizations should carefully choose tools that offer scalability and visibility into the many platforms.
- Flexibility in Exchanging Information – In the healthcare industry, it is almost impossible to keep up with the same standards throughout. To be at the forefront of healthcare provision, organizations need to be able to convert every opportunity to their benefit and flexibility is essential for that. The more they are able to have common data-reading platforms and multiple website certificates, more able they will be to create a secure data exchange platform.
BCC Research predicts a growth rate of 11.6% for the global healthcare cloud computing between 2017-2022, resulting in a USD 35 billion revenue by 2022.
Despite these challenges, the healthcare industry is beginning to see brighter horizons, thanks to IT Cloud services and cloud applications like Office 365 and EMR/EHR systems!
While many functions and practices were hindered due to physical constraints, healthcare practitioners are now able to overlook those barriers and reach out to patients who in turn can get to talk to industry experts at any time.