The Healthcare sector has to deal with vast amounts of sensitive and private information and involves various processes due to which operations become pretty complicated. It leads to substantial operational costs, including data storage costs, and it is difficult to have a self-sufficient health ecosystem. However, with the technological advancement and the evolution of cloud computing over the years, the healthcare industry has transformed with features like scalability, efficiency, collaboration, reachability, and security.
The healthcare sector is one of the industries that have actively adopted cloud computing technology. According to studies, the cloud-based healthcare market will be approximately 55 billion dollars by 2025.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing enables users to access data centers distributed over different locations over the internet through central servers. It allows data to be stored easily in a place where users can easily access it anytime and anywhere. It does not require hardware that can be accessed from only a physical location. Rather than keeping critical data on your computers, you can store it remotely and back it to the cloud.
Cloud-based healthcare means utilizing cloud computing technology for managing healthcare services. Healthcare operators are partnering with cloud providers to save their digital records securely. Healthcare providers can fulfill the following requirements in the healthcare industry:
- Support massive datasets for radiology images, genomic data offloading, and EHR.
- Share EHR amongst hospitals, physicians, and care providers over different locations, providing timely access to critical information and reducing the requirement of duplicate testing.
- Access to computing with ample storage resources whenever required is impossible in the traditional method.
- Better analysis and monitoring of data on treatment, diagnosis, performance, and cost.
A cloud-powered healthcare system minimizes operational expenses while providing improved personalized care and productive workflows that result in improved healthcare services. Patients can conveniently access their healthcare data with efficient tracking and get fast responses from healthcare providers.
Changes in Healthcare Sector Due to Cloud Computing
The healthcare sector faces various hardships: rapidly transforming regulations, lost revenue, and privacy concerns. However, healthcare providers can benefit from the digital revolution modifying the industry. These transformations include:
- Clinical devices can be integrated more quickly, assisting healthcare professionals in operating more efficiently and quickly. It also reduces healthcare expenses and allows professionals to spend more time with patients.
- Clinical Information Technology is becoming more centralized and supports attempts to enhance data management, clinical systems integration, and interoperability.
- AI and Machine Learning can assist in streamlining the supply chain with recommendations, predictions, and trend identification after analysis.
How Cloud Computing Is Benefitting the Healthcare Industry
Cloud computing in the healthcare sector enables healthcare professionals to offer better services to patients, allow them to access information quickly, streamline expenses, and enhance operational efficiency. It makes medical record-sharing more convenient and automates backend operations. The advantages of cloud computing technology are listed below:
Cloud computing operations in a subscription model and healthcare providers can save additional expenses as they are not required to buy costly equipment and systems. Healthcare institutions can minimize costs by adopting a cloud server and utilizing the cloud provider’s resources.
Healthcare professionals must keep track of electronic medical records, mobile apps, big data analytics, and patient portals. They can use cloud computing to store all this data without investing in any physical servers, hardware, or software. Moreover, there is no cost associated with obtaining cloud services for healthcare, and you need to pay for only the resources you use.
Cloud servers provide security to patient information. Healthcare providers might lose all the data if the on-premise hardware or equipment malfunctions. But cloud computing ensures security and allows only the people who have permission to access data. This way, no third parties can interfere with critical patient information.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
With the rising need to maintain complex data, AI and machine learning can help analyze big datasets and generate results depending upon which healthcare providers can make well-informed clinical decisions for operational efficiencies and patient treatment. With more cloud platforms integrating ML and AI into their services, cloud computing can assist the transition of AI for streamlining healthcare operations and help users manage large quantities of data.
Applications of cloud computing enable optimum scaling without spending too much. Data needs to be recorded from healthcare apps, wearables, and EMRs, and cloud computing allows you to scale storage while reducing expenses.
Interoperability between the integrated medical devices and the different applications and systems that store patient information should be present. A large number of IoT integrated systems are available for the healthcare industry. Without a suitable medium for communication and a possible means for data transfer between healthcare systems, the industry lacks many advantages of a connected healthcare environment. Interoperability aims to make patient information accessible for convenient distribution and to receive valuable insights to provide better healthcare services.
The integration of cloud services plays a vital role in enhancing healthcare as Electronic Medical Records in the cloud allow doctors to view the information directly. Patients no longer need to carry their medical records with them while paying a visit to the doctor. Doctors can communicate and share information in real-time, thus allowing them to provide the correct treatment.
Patients want their healthcare experience to be seamless. Cloud computing has made it achievable and has transformed the healthcare industry by providing better services. Providing predictive care, proper treatment, easy access to medical health records, and remotely-monitored IoT medical devices only with cloud applications and services is possible. Thus, healthcare organizations are rapidly transforming to modernize their operations and gain a competitive advantage over their competitors with cloud computing technology.