Applications and Importance of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

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The healthcare domain is experiencing a significant surge in terms of innovation, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry is witnessing massive digital transformation, impacting every aspect of the industry – security, predictiveness, performance, accessibility, affordability, and beyond.

When we talk about digital transformation redefining the healthcare sector, we often refer to technologies like blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, etc., and even SaMD (software-based healthcare devices). While all these technology trends are the key enablers behind the unparalleled growth of healthcare companies, cloud computing acts as a backbone for all these next-gen technological innovations.

Cloud computing in healthcare has brought a huge shift in the creation, consumption, storage, and sharing of medical data. According to McKinsey, cloud-based healthcare solutions can generate value of $100 billion to $170 billion by 2030. The key driver of this growing value lies in empowering healthcare companies to innovate, digitize, and realize their strategic objectives more effectively.

Let’s delve deeper to understand the different facets of cloud computing for healthcare and how it is revolutionizing the domain.

What is Cloud Computing in Healthcare?

Cloud computing for the healthcare industry is primarily about implementing remote server access via the Internet to store, manage, and process medical data. This process provides a flexible solution for healthcare stakeholders to remotely access servers where the data is hosted. The remote accessibility of healthcare data breaks down the location barriers to accessing medical services.

Cloud computing for healthcare comes with two-fold applications for both patients and healthcare providers, enabling them to use a massive amount of data securely from anywhere, anytime, improve patient care, streamline operations, and automate various processes.

For medical institutions, virtualization in cloud computing helps lower operational spend while enabling them to deliver high-quality and personalized care. The patients, on the other hand, are getting accustomed to the instant delivery of healthcare services.

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What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare?

Cloud computing for healthcare, with its on-demand availability, high-data accessibility, and internet-based services, has transformed the entire healthcare industry. It is why tech-savvy medical professionals increasingly embrace cloud technology in healthcare for all its benefits to effectively address patients’ and business needs.  Here are some benefits of cloud computing in healthcare:

Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Lowers Healthcare Cost

The primary benefits of cloud computing in healthcare are the real-time availability of resources such as data storage and computing power. Also, there are no upfront charges linked with the healthcare cloud adoption; they will only have to pay for the resources they use.

Furthermore, cloud computing in healthcare provides an optimum environment for scaling without burning a hole in the pocket. With the patient’s data flowing in from several sources like EMRs, healthcare apps, and wearables, a cloud solution for healthcare makes it possible to scale the storage while keeping the costs low.

Easy Interoperability

Interoperability focuses on establishing data integrations through the entire healthcare system, irrespective of the origin or where the data is stored. It makes patients’ data available for easy distribution and for getting insights to aid healthcare delivery. Also, cloud computing for healthcare enables medical professionals to access a varied range of patient data, share it with key stakeholders, and deliver timely protocols.

Ownership of Patients’ Data

The applications of cloud computing in the healthcare sector democratize data and empower patients to control their health. It facilitates patients’ participation in making crucial decisions related to their health, working as a tool to better patient engagement and education. Also, with cloud-based healthcare, medical data can be archived and retrieved easily. And with an increase in the system uptime, the data redundancy is reduced to a huge extent, and data recovery also becomes easier.

Improves Collaboration

Healthcare cloud adoption significantly boosts collaboration between healthcare stakeholders, providers, and patients. By saving the Electronic Health Records in the cloud, patients no longer need to carry their medical records to every doctor visit. The doctors can easily view the information, see the outcome of previous interactions, and even share information with one another in real-time. This, in turn, enables them to provide more personalized and better treatment.

Also Read: EMR Vs. EHR Development – What Should you Choose for your Healthcare Business?

Enhances Patients’ Experience

Cloud computing for healthcare also enhances patients’ engagement in the delivery of medical services by giving them real-time access to medical data, test results, and even doctors’ notes. Also, cloud-based healthcare provides patients with a check from being overprescribed or dragged into unnecessary testing – the details of both can be found in the medical records.

Reinforces Security

The healthcare industry deals with a massive amount of data on a daily basis, making it a focal point of attraction to malicious attackers, which increases the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. With the applications of cloud computing in healthcare, medical institutions, and healthcare providers can ensure failsafe security as these applications can proactively inform you about suspicious attempts.

Also, cloud solutions for healthcare enable professionals to outsource data storage to cloud service providers like AWS or Azure to efficiently comply with security and privacy standards like HIPAA and GDPR.

Now that we know the importance of cloud computing in healthcare, let’s explore the different types of cloud solutions for healthcare.

Also Read: How to develop a cloud application: A step-by-step process

Types of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Cloud computing for the healthcare industry works in two models: Deployment and Distribution.

By Deployment

Private – Only one healthcare firm/chain can use the cloud facility.

Community – A group of healthcare bodies can access the cloud.

Public – The cloud is open for all the stakeholders to access.

Hybrid – The model combines multiple clouds with various access options.

Digital Healthcare Market

By Distribution

Software as a Service (SaaS) – In the Software as a Service model, the provider offers IT infrastructure, and the client deploys operating systems and applications.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – The provider gives an IT infrastructure and operating system, and the client deploys applications.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – The provider gives an IT infrastructure, an operating system, applications, and every other component in a ready-to-use module.

Also Read: The key differences between IaaS and PaaS.

 transform your medical practices with the benefits of cloud solutions

Risks Associated with Cloud Computing in Healthcare

While cloud computing for healthcare offers numerous advantages to businesses and patients alike, the technology also combines some significant risks and challenges. Let’s have a look at some risks associated with healthcare cloud solutions.

Risks Associated with Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Lack of Specialists

In the healthcare software domain, it can be difficult to find skilled developers who specialize in integrating new technologies into the industry. Likewise, it is tough to find cloud specialists in the healthcare domain.

Limited Ecosystem

The applications of cloud services for healthcare alone cannot make the industry efficient. Organizations need to combine cloud computing with the Internet of Things and data management systems to establish an effective analytics architecture.

Difficulty in Cloud Adoption

Switching from legacy systems to cloud systems requires changing the complete operational process. Healthcare organizations must train everyone involved in the process on how the technology can benefit their everyday job.

Security Challenges

Storing medical data in the cloud is central to healthcare cloud adoption. This, however, increases the risk of data breaches. It happens because, in a typical cloud setup, one organization’s data shares the server with other healthcare organizations, and the isolation mechanisms that are put in place to separate them may fail. It causes a situation where organizations fail to secure their cloud infrastructure from the growing incidents of cyber attacks.

Real-World Examples of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

Cloud computing has become an inseparable part of healthcare, offering numerous advantages to businesses operating in the industry. Here are some real-world examples of companies that greatly benefit from the powerful impact of cloud computing on healthcare. These examples demonstrate how cloud computing for healthcare helps businesses enhance patient care, streamline operations, boost collaboration, and improve data management, eventually improving the overall efficiency of medical services.

Real-World Examples of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

YouCOMM

YouComm is an emerging healthcare technology company that uses cloud computing to enhance patient communication and engagement. YouCOMM uses a fully customizable patient messaging system that enables patients to notify the staff of their needs through manual selection of options, voice commands, and head gestures.  By offering secure and user-friendly communication tools, YouComm facilitates collaboration between patients, healthcare providers, and caregivers. The result? Today, 5+ Hospital chains in the US run on YouCOMM solution, while the company witnesses 60% growth in nurses’ real-time response time. Moreover, 3+ hospitals received high CMS reimbursement.

YouCOMM

Soniphi

Soniphi, the very first resonant frequencies-based personal wellness system, uses cloud-based healthcare solutions to provide patients with a complete well-being analysis report on their personal healthcare apps. Their cloud infrastructure supports early disease diagnosis, remote patient monitoring, and telehealth consultations.

Soniphi

Pfizer

Pfizer is a biotechnology and pharmaceutical company using cloud computing in medicine for better collaboration among all parts of its projects since 2016. Pfizer was in the spotlight recently as it developed the vaccine for COVID-19 in partnership with BioNTech. Also, the company works with AWS to create cloud-based solutions that focus on improving the development and distribution processes for clinical trial testing.

Health-e, a health assessment app

What is the Future of Cloud Computing in Healthcare?

As technology evolves, healthcare organizations rapidly embrace cloud solutions to manage massive amounts of data, improve patient care, and streamline operations. Also, cloud computing supports the integration of artificial intelligence into mainstream healthcare operations.

It is why, today, businesses, irrespective of their sizes, are increasingly leveraging cloud computing for a wide range of purposes, including disaster recovery, data backup, virtual desktops, email, software development, testing, and big data analytics.

Looking ahead, the future of healthcare envisions seamless interoperability between the connected medical devices and healthcare systems. It makes medical record sharing safer and easier and automates various operational processes. These endeavors contribute to a more agile healthcare environment, enhancing the overall patient care and delivery of healthcare services.

Cloud computing in the healthcare industry is continually rising, and it is poised for immense transformation and innovation in the coming years.

Future of Cloud Computing in Healthcare

How Can Appinventiv Help Adopt Cloud Computing in Healthcare?

Looking for risk-proof cloud solutions for healthcare? Partner with us, and we will help you leverage the full potential of cloud computing in the form of streamlined delivery, high security, optimal performance, and reduced costs.

Being a renowned provider of healthcare software development services, we have a team of 600+ cloud specialists who have successfully delivered more than 350 cloud applications for businesses across the globe. Our cloud experts build custom solutions around the common risks associated with 80% of healthcare cloud projects – compliance checks, data security, and chances of downtime.

Our custom range of services includes cloud consulting, cloud architecture design, cloud infrastructure configuration, cloud managed services, and code reviews.

From streamlining everyday processes to integrating innovation across the system, our healthcare cloud consulting services tackle all the industry challenges and support your business at every stage of transformation.

Contact us now to adopt cloud computing in healthcare and overcome technical issues.

FAQs

Q. How is cloud computing used in healthcare?

A. Cloud computing in the healthcare sector provides organizations with a secured infrastructure that makes the data management system more scalable and flexible. The essential functionalities involved in the workflow of healthcare cloud services are authorization, authentication, data persistence, data confidentiality, and data integrity. Here are the key steps describing how cloud computing is used in a healthcare environment.

  • Patients request for authorization process at the public cloud server and then forward it to the private cloud server.
  • The request would get either accepted or rejected.
  • The physician then requests authorization.
  • The physician’s request is processed, and they can access the data from the cloud server.
  • The physician shares medical advice directly with the patient.

Q. What are the use cases of cloud computing in healthcare?

A. Listed below are some of the top applications and use cases of cloud computing in healthcare that aim to drive a tech-led healthcare system.

  • Drug discovery and Telemedicine 
  • Management information system
  • Digital libraries
  • Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS)
  • Virtual medical universities
  • Better practice management
  • Population health management
  • Biological software
  • Health education

THE AUTHOR

Dileep Gupta

DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER


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