The Future Of Cloud Computing In Healthcare

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The healthcare industry in India is one of the fastest growing sectors, fueled by the continuously rising investments made by both the government and private players. The ever-changing trends in supply and demand within the healthcare market influence the use of IT. The adoption of cloud has thus been on the upswing within this industry, owing to the influence of digitalization, consumerization and the need to meet regulatory changes.

Cloud plays a vital role in providing cost-effective services to today’s consumer-driven market, and ensures efficiency and productivity by maintaining records and providing ease of access to the professionals.

There has been a notable rise in the use of cloud services in the recent past and the spending on healthcare cloud-based platform is expected to rise to an estimated $9.5 billion by 2020, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Cloud is not just as an affordable solution to store medical records, but has become inevitable for the advancement and success of critical research projects happening in the medical field.

Why Cloud Computing is Essential?

Cloud is emerging as a truly revolutionary technology for the healthcare sector. Several leading healthcare organizations have already embraced Cloud for their critical workloads. There are various factors that make cloud-based platforms essential in healthcare organizations.

Security and compliance: The skepticism around security in the cloud is an issue of the past. Cloud is now considered to be as safe as, if not more, the on-premise IT infrastructure. Besides, the industry is working towards better regulatory clarity to be able to protect patient’s rights and security. The recent HIPAA update, for instance, makes cloud service providers as liable for HIPAA compliance as the healthcare entities they serve. There is a lot more focus in the industry towards aspects such as data encryption, back-up, recovery and permission-based data access.

Scalability and future-proofing: Data deluge is hard reality for the healthcare sector across the globe. Even the biggest of the healthcare organizations are struggling to deal with Big Data challenge. They are finding that no on-site infrastructure has the capability to infinitely scale to accommodate the growing demand. The upfront investment required to maintain the on-premise infrastructure is too huge. Cloud is probably the only option for healthcare providers to address this challenge. Cloud is also a sensible choice from a disaster recovery point of view.

Accessibility and collaboration: Cloud environment improves accessibility for both patients and clinicians. The sources of data generation today are numerous and includes, but not limited to mobile devices, videoconferencing and healthcare applications. Cloud model allows quick access across various platforms and facilitates information sharing, knowledge management and predictive analytics for hospitals, medical insurance companies, researchers and other stakeholders.

Reduced Cost and Operational Aid: Healthcare IT professionals have shifted from the capital-intensive technology investments to expenses that offer flexibility. Healthcare leaders want to channel capital into cash flow generating activities that allows them to deliver improved outcomes. Cloud computing lets healthcare focus on healthcare rather than investing in data centers and digital real estate to house them. Cloud services also reduce the cost of hiring skilled professionals to maintain and operate these data centers.

What the Future Looks Like

Adoption of cloud computing in the healthcare industry will continue to evolve and accelerate in the coming years. The increasing penetration of IoT (Internet of Things) in the healthcare segment is predicted to be one of the biggest drivers for Cloud adoption in the coming days.  Besides, the need to store and analyze vast amounts of healthcare information to deliver both personal and population health management services necessitates the need for cloud computing from both a business and technology perspective.

Added to this are the increasingly sophisticated and wide ranging healthcare cloud services offerings available in the marketplace, which healthcare providers might struggle to reproduce as in-house applications.

With cloud being accessible on various connected devices, such as mobile phones, wearable technologies and instant alerts, it will be easier to stay connected and procure medical records and seek medical assistance. Cloud is poised to serve as the foundation for technologies like big data analytics, cognitive computing, mobile collaboration and information exchange to accelerate the delivery of advanced healthcare solutions in the coming days.

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Trivone Media Network's or that of CXOToday's.]