How is Cloud Computing Impacting the Healthcare Sector?

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The world has witnessed a remarkable shift in data production, consumption, and knowledge sharing in the healthcare sector. From the traditional approach to storing data to digitalization in healthcare, the healthcare domain has passed significant milestones in revolutionizing how it deals with data.

For a niche that is known for abstaining from reliance on modern Cloud Services, the healthcare sector is now adapting to the Cloud infrastructure at a rapid pace. According to a recent study, over 40% of healthcare organizations included in the survey were found to share 50% of Cloud infrastructure in general. Healthcare is thus found to be the strongest seeker of Cloud services compared to other sectors.

This notable transition of having Cloud computing in healthcare is more than just data storage on Cloud frameworks. Healthcare services around the globe are now capitalizing on using this modern technology to boost their functional efficiency, streamline workflows, and reduce the costs associated with healthcare services.

Cloud computing in the healthcare domain continues to normalize at a rapid pace such that total worldwide expenditure on the Cloud by healthcare organizations is expected to cross over $500 billion by the end of this year. Apart from that, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), a Cloud computing approach known for migrating gigantic healthcare records and the entire infrastructure to the Cloud, is the fastest-growing Cloud service with an expected compound annual growth of over 30% by the end of the year 2027.

Let’s discuss what cloud computing means in healthcare and the impact of using Cloud frameworks in the healthcare industry.

Cloud Computing In Healthcare

Cloud computing in healthcare is intended to revolutionize and boost the functional & operational efficiency of the healthcare sector while reducing budget expenditures significantly. Cloud computing allows knowledge sharing in terms of patient records and internal organizational data to be much more simple and more secure, streamlines internal functionalities, and even fuels the production of health-centric applications.

In the healthcare sector, technology has become equally inclusive and critical for doctors, paramedics, and patients who make up the entire healthcare facility. Apart from the gigantic portfolio of modern healthcare devices & machines, there is an obscure entity critical to healthcare operations which is Cloud computing in healthcare.

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Cloud computing in healthcare is vital to deploying and implementing critical applications and analyzing & evaluating critical information from an ocean of meaningful data. It also includes leveraging natural language processing (NLP) as an intelligent ML model to evaluate handwritten medical records as well as digital reports.

For instance, a person pays a hospital visit and complains of the flu and chest pains. The medical experts would leverage their knowledge base to evaluate what’s happening and record all the details about patient demographics, travel history, previous medical records, and symptoms. That’s where Cloud-oriented data analytics joins the stage by fetching insightful information that would otherwise remain obscure.

Cloud Computing in Healthcare – Perks & Benefits

To date, Cloud critics continue to highlight different privacy and data security concerns of storing ultra-sensitive patient data on the Cloud. They are concerned about sharing healthcare data with an outsourced Cloud vendor. But at the same time, the Cloud’s significant benefits and perks cannot be overlooked, resulting in the ever-increasing rate of Cloud adoption by healthcare services.

Like the rest of the domains, the trend of in-house IT experts and infrastructures at hospitals or other healthcare facilities is declining amid a significant migration trend to Cloud services by healthcare services. The patrons of this growing trend claim some side benefits as well such as reduced costs and the capability to boost and optimize analysis of vital healthcare aspects, including medical notes, prescriptions, reports, etc.

Apart from the benefit that data can be structured and analyzed instantly and payrolls reduced significantly in the absence of on-premise data infrastructures and IT teams, the risk associated with the damage of on-premise frameworks in the event of any potential catastrophe or cyberattack is reduced significantly. Streamlined workflows and flexibility are the key deliverables as well.

Apart from that, healthcare professionals can enjoy quick access to comprehensive patient data & medical logs. It further eliminates the necessity of having massive networks & strict security mechanisms. Similarly, patients can easily have their hands on accurate information, prescriptions, and required suggestions.

How Cloud Computing Is Transforming The Healthcare Industry

Transitioning to Cloud computing in healthcare offers two primary advantages. Firstly, it has shown remarkable results in offering benefits to both healthcare professionals and patients. As far as the business aspect is concerned, Cloud computing in healthcare has remarkable potential to reduce operational costs while enabling health service professionals to offer dedicated and personalized medical services.

Below are some remarkable ways to make Cloud computing in healthcare a highly impactful technology.

1. Reduced Cost & Scalability

The fundamental aspect of Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of resources including computational power and storage capacity. Healthcare facilities and experts are no longer bound to buy high-end hardware and mission-critical datacenters for their in-house setup. They can leverage zero up-front charges while utilizing Cloud services and only need to pay for the resources they outsource or consume. As a result, they can spare a significant amount of their IT budget and channel it somewhere else.

Cloud services also offer the optimum working ecosystem and enable scalability according to the particular needs of a user or client. A Cloud-native framework is found to be a perfect match for scalability and flexibility and well sustains the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.

2. Information & Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing has the utmost objective to ensure data integration and synchronization throughout the entire healthcare organization, independent of the main source. As a result of this knowledge sharing supported by Cloud computing in healthcare, a wide collection of medical records and patient data can be made handy & instantly available for sharing, analysis, and evaluation to extract valuable insights and support healthcare strategy building as well as service delivery.

Cloud computing in healthcare allows healthcare professionals to acquire instant access to patient data and medical history gathered via a range of sources throughout the different sessions. They can share this data and insights with key individuals and departments to ensure timely precautions, prescriptions, and suggestions. It also reduced the time taken by healthcare professionals to review medical cases and share the relevant insights and directions irrespective of demographic boundaries.

The patient’s data stored in the Cloud framework also ensures knowledge sharing among different departments of the healthcare organizations. This enables an automated and hassle-free transition of resources and data between the different departments thus boosting the healthcare support and operations in the entire organization.

3. Leverage Insightful Analytics

Whether your healthcare data is well-structured or poorly structured, it is a valuable asset for your healthcare facility. A gigantic patient data from various sources can be structured and evaluated in the Cloud computing framework very smartly. Implementing Big Data practices and machine learning models on Cloud-native patient data can help in medical research, specifically in the event of a pandemic or epidemic. The modern computational and ML models used in the state-of-the-art Cloud frameworks make it possible to process heavy amounts of data within no time.

Implementing analytical approaches to patient data can also help you devise more customized and to-the-point care guidelines or precautionary measures for patients individually. It also promises that even minor details about the patient can be stored for a more robust and directed medication and decision-making, such as demographics, medical history, existing medications, etc. Cloud-native data analytics can be very fruitful in fetching detailed information about a patient and evaluating it for further insights.

4. Direct Benefits for the Patients

Cloud computing turns complex data into a presentable and easy-to-understand format to allow patients to have a look at their healthcare data. It ensures patient willingness to participate and collaborate in decision-making events regarding their health and helps educate the patient about their illness and its cure.

Patient data and medical reports can be easily stored and accessed when stored on a Cloud framework. While cybersecurity is the primary concern throughout this knowledge-sharing practice with outside stakeholders, the security & scrutiny of Cloud computing in healthcare is significantly remarkable. Along with automated and secured data backups, data recovery can be ensured in the case of any potential loss or crash.

5. Telemedicine Applications

The remote diagnosis of patients with telemedicine is the biggest perk that Cloud computing in healthcare offers. The integration of Cloud computing in healthcare offers opportunities to improve several healthcare-oriented functionalities, including telemedicine, diet plans, recovery plans, & healthcare abidance at home. It also revolutionizes the way patients use to access healthcare facilities via telehealth.

Telemedicine applications add the aspect of comfort to healthcare services while improving the UX for the patients. Cloud-centric telehealth apps enable hassle-free sharing of medical data, simplify access, and ensure healthcare guidance to remote patients during the different stages of treatment.

Examples of Cloud Computing in the Health Industry

Example 1- Pfizer

Pfizer is a biotechnology organization that will use Cloud computing in healthcare for its different projects by the end of 2015. It came into the mainstream recently, as it successfully developed the COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with BioNTech. The facility also started working with AWS Cloud to develop Cloud-native products to boost and optimize the research and development of clinical trial models.

Example 2 – ClearDATA

Introduced to accompany the other public Cloud frameworks, ClearDATA’s HIPAA-regulated Cloud service secures critical patient data by ensuring strict safety and regulatory compliance. It follows the DevOps model to ensure efficiency in operational areas of the healthcare organization. The framework also detects slight changes in the Cloud environment in real-time so the facility can instantly respond to any challenge by taking necessary measures.

End Words

Cloud computing in healthcare continues to be adopted by giant names in the healthcare sector. The primary reason is that all the giant fished of the Cloud domain, including Microsoft, Google, & Amazon, have realized the fact that not all healthcare facilities will manage to work with in-house infrastructures. They continue to certify their Cloud services for HIPAA and a range of other regulatory bodies.

If you can get promising words and licenses from your Cloud vendor that they’re offering secured & HIPAA-certified, there is no reason to continue with the more expensive on-promise models. You can easily dodge the responsibility and load of managing in-house data centers by making a swift move toward Cloud computing in healthcare.

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