Cloud computing has become an integral part of organizations to drive their business forward. With CIOs and CTOs roles coming into the picture for digital transformation, the limelight has now shifted from legacy software towards Cloud Computing, AI, ML, AR, and VR.
Amazon Web Services emerged in the early 2000s and launched EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) in 2006 to let individuals and companies rent virtual computers to run their applications. Google followed the same and launched Google Docs in the same year to let individuals create, edit, save, or share docs via cloud. In 2007, Netflix launched an OTT platform using cloud computing to deliver video content to thousands of subscribers.
These days, almost all industries rely on cloud computing for their business. Be it education, healthcare, IT, automotive, or real estate, cloud computing solutions are everywhere.
Rapid changes Cloud Computing has Brought to Digitization
Consumers as well as enterprises witnessed immense growth with adoption of cloud computing. With the pay-as-you-use revenue model offered by tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, and Google, organizations are now more inclined to use on-premises cloud computing solutions.
To become competitive in today’s fast paced world, an organization must embrace digitization process as and when required to upgrade their old infrastructure. With cloud computing, it is possible to digitize new technologies that can speed up and improve business outcomes with automation. As these technologies need more storage space and high computational power, Cloud Computing is the solution to digitize your business rapidly.
Cloud Computing gives organizations the flexibility to integrate continuous changes and is cost-effective in the long run as one pays only for the services used.
Where is healthcare on cloud computing today?
Cloud computing has been an integral part of healthcare for many years now. With the help of cloud computing, a shared hardware is created to access various applications for healthcare objectives via network connection. In short, it is a ready-to-use cloud technology with the ability to process large amounts of information rapidly. This is the reason that more and more healthcare providers are applying cloud computing for forecasting, and decision making.
Presently, cloud computing is used by hospitals, healthcare professionals, R&D centers, and health insurance companies. Healthcare experts heavily rely on cloud computing in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the emphasis is now towards early prediction, remote consultations, patient healthcare privacy, and giving vaccinations to a large number of people.
Healthcare demand is rising significantly today as most of the people now have an increased interest in wellness. Cloud computing brings the best-of-breed healthcare facilities for patients.
Cloud Computing ensures a patient-centric approach: With personalized medicine getting more and more popular, cloud computing has made it possible to bring value-for-money in patient healthcare. Clinical trials done by researchers help to differentiate the treatments working best for a subset of patients. This is done with the help of cloud computing and data analytics to parse huge amounts of data involved in clinical trials. Therefore, personalized treatment guidelines are created for individuals.
How is cloud computing impacting healthcare – eg. rapidly enabling digitization
Cloud computing is the center of healthcare transformation that gives more control to patients and doctors regarding healthcare choices. With cloud computing, information sharing, collaborative workflows, and research facilities are leveraged at lower costs. Earlier, outdated software was a barrier in modernizing the healthcare system.
With fitness monitor bands and healthcare mobile apps, patients can now access their health metrics on a daily basis to look for vital signs of any illness. This data collection when shared with the doctors gives more insights about the patient to make informed decisions and quick diagnosis. This digitization benefits both patients and doctors.
Shift from treatment to prevention:
As per a McKinsey report, for every $1 investment to improve healthcare, an economic return of $2 – $4 is made. To focus more towards assisting wellness and preventing sickness, healthcare professionals are now able to provide personalized and precise care. With more focus on factors that contribute to an individual’s health, cloud computing has made the shift from treatment to prevention opportunity.
Remotely monitor patient data:
Do you know that mental and chronic illnesses are responsible for 90% of the healthcare costs in the United States annually. Cloud computing assists doctors to track real-time patient data as and when required. If any anomalies are detected, the physician can take immediate action according to the patient data. For example, if the oxygen level
falls below 94 in the pulse oximeter reading for a covid-19 patient, it is an alarming sign that patient health is deteriorating and needs immediate assistance. Cloud computing technology enables the doctors to give telephonic advice to patients remotely and what they should do next.
Therefore, specialized care is now possible for patients to treat illness earlier and save more lives.
Why is it that many healthcare enterprises are slow to adopt cloud computing? What are the challenges?
There are many challenges faced by healthcare enterprises while adopting cloud computing. Let’s take a look at these challenges.
Limited Capabilities and functionalities:
Cloud computing can’t do everything on its own. In order to have a reliable and powerful architecture, healthcare enterprises also need smart devices, master data management, and artificial intelligence tools to succeed.
Not easy to find knowledgeable specialists:
The key elements in cloud computing are only understood by a professional who is a specialist in that field. With such limited resources, healthcare enterprises face challenges to find a reliable company to work with.
Flexible with Data format:
Healthcare is an industry that uses various data formats. Therefore, cloud computing needs to accept the data ‘as-it-is’ and operate with multiple data formats from XML to HL7 and provide the information to physicians on the go. To create a secure method for analyzing and exchanging data, healthcare enterprises need to be flexible working with various data formats. Sending or receiving data efficiently from HTTPS to SSL is a big challenge.
Up to date and accurate data:
Any unintentional loss of data or wrong patient data can cause serious problems for healthcare enterprises. Up to date patient records have to be present in the hospital database else critical situations might go out of control. Inconsistent data and missing patient information are a big hindrance for healthcare enterprises while implementing cloud computing.
Outsourcing various services is not easy:
Healthcare is one such industry where no individual is a jack of all trades. Thus, they have to work with various vendors and outsource their systems with different companies. The main objective of the healthcare enterprise is to focus on medical care and the rest is to be taken care of by their vendor companies. To club all outsourcing services together for implementing cloud services is a big challenge.
What can be done to overcome these challenges?
In today’s world, to overcome all the above-mentioned challenges, the very first step healthcare enterprises have to take is to create in-depth provisions to raise the importance of risks and liabilities without incorporating cloud computing. Preparing the project launch with detailed guidelines from the CTO or CIO is very important. Setting clear regulations will make the movement of healthcare data to cloud computing fast track and secure.
It is also crucial to work with the right provider who has the expertise to eliminate all the challenges right from the very beginning. The first design or draft should offer a high level of protection, reliable data encryption, and proper access control for the staff.
Where do we see cloud computing in healthcare over the next 5 years?
With an increase in the aging population, cloud computing is going to play an important role in the future of healthcare. With an estimate of 8 billion population by 2025, and with persons over 80 years of age going to triple in the next 30 years, it is evident that healthcare infrastructure has room for significant improvement.
TThe United States is facing a shortage of physicians as a larger number of doctors are retiring than the number of doctors graduating. To provide high quality care to the aging population, cloud computing will play a pivotal role over the next 5 years. As per research by the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2033, the United States will have a shortage of 54,000 to 139,000 physicians. Fewer doctors, rising healthcare demand, and increased healthcare cost problems can be partially addressed through aggressive implementation of cloud computing./p>
Over the last decade, cloud computing has evolved as a lifeline for various industries including healthcare. It is a one-off investment for the future. As per a study, 90% of companies are using some or the other form of cloud computing services. The legacy systems used in healthcare needs an upgrade to cloud computing if the organizations really aspire to transform their efficiency.
To establish a smart and reliable healthcare infrastructure, it’s important to work with a specialized company who has the experience and right skills to implement cloud computing. For better assistance, take the step forward and contact RESOLVE today. In our daily routine, we are empowering healthcare enterprises with tailor-made solutions to incorporate cloud computing.