Cloud Computing in Healthcare: Everything you Need to Know

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The use of cloud computing in the healthcare sector is rapidly expanding. The purchase of cloud technology has greatly increased during the past few years. Infact, during the pandemic, the entire healthcare system had depended on cloud computing. IT infrastructures have benefited all medical institutions, along with nurses and doctors.

In recent research, it has shown that the global market for cloud technologies in the healthcare sector is expected to reach USD 25.54 billion in the years 2020 to 2024, and around USD 70 billion in the years by 2027. As a flexible solution, cloud computing allows health centers to store large volumes of data securely through a network of remotely accessible servers.

What does Cloud Computing in Healthcare Mean:

Cloud computing in healthcare is all about applying data from remote servers used through the internet in processing medical information. Cloud storage is used to store a massive amount of data securely used by healthcare experts and medical institutions.

The EMR (Electronic Medical Records) mandate has forced medical companies to create and secure cloud-based solutions. Further, healthcare organizations that did not intend to move their data centers to the cloud also adopted cloud-based solutions as well. In the health care environment, cloud-based technology can help improve patient care, share information easily, improve operational efficiency, and streamline costs.

Impact of Corona Virus Outbreak in Healthcare Cloud Computing:

The healthcare industry generates vast data, and due to the coronavirus outbreak, the need of sharing data across healthcare systems became even higher. Patient consultation through video conferencing and making phone calls instead of direct visits to the hospitals have increased, which directly results in the growth of healthcare cloud computing market.

The global outbreak of Covid-19 has created a positive impact on the healthcare sector, due to which the worldwide healthcare cloud computing market is predicted to grow significantly during the next few years. Implementation of blockchain in healthcare industry provides greater data security and better management of billing processes. Additionally, it minimizes data exchange violations and gives patients more ownership over their personal and health records.

Clinical analysts utilized cloud-based data centers for testing medicines and possible antibodies for COVID-19 and it offered a solution to provide several advantages during the COVID-19 vaccine research.

Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare Industry:

Let's dive into some of the benefits of implementing cloud computing in healthcare:

  • 1. Efficient and Affordable Solution for Electronic Medical Record-Keeping:
    Cloud technology helps handle data very efficiently and cloud-based analytical tools can use data more and change it into meaningful information. Today, the majority of healthcare systems use cloud storage for keeping health records, which are updated electronically by physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers.

    Cloud computing improves the quality, safety and efficiency of medical services, to better engage patients and family, improve the coordination of care, and to maintain patient privacy and security.

  • 2. Collaborative Patient Care:
    Doctors can more easily collaborate on viewing or sharing patient medical records because of cloud storage. A wide use of cloud storage in hospitals, especially in relation to electronic health records, makes it easier for doctors to share information, assess how other physicians and patients interact, and provide patients with care that takes into account their past experiences with other doctors.

  • 3. Decreased Data Storage Costs:
    Through the implementation of the cloud, doctors, caregivers, and other healthcare providers can easily access patient information from different sources, thus eliminating the need for huge networks and complex security protocols. The healthcare organizations that hosted their healthcare ERP in cloud have noticed around 20% drop in infrastructure expenses. As cloud works on pay-as-you-go model, providers only have to pay for the services they avail.

  • 4. Enhanced Patient Security:
    Adoption of cloud computing has increased in the healthcare sector. Major organizations like Microsoft, Google and Amazon are now certifying their data centers for HIPAA compliance. HIPAA certified data centers do not need to manage their infrastructure and don't need an extensive security program in place to be able to manage it.

  • 5. Improved Backup Capabilities:
    By using remote cloud deployments, hospitals can regularly backup their systems and data against malware attacks and data hijacking, protecting vital patient records and information.

  • 6. Drive True Data Interoperability:
    As we are growing in the digital age, interoperability between connected medical devices and various applications that store patient data will become an issue. So, now healthcare contributors offer IoT-enabled devices to patients and by connecting those devices to a hospital's cloud system, patient data is quickly transmitted straight to their doctor. It provides real-time health monitoring of the patients and enables better diagnoses for patients.

  • 7. Access to Telehealth:
    These days, many healthcare providers are moving towards telehealth to better connect a patient even at home. If a healthcare organization migrates its existing application to cloud, a patient could easily access things remotely, like scheduling a visit, paying for visits, accessing test results etc.

  • 8. Better Scalability:
    Based on the number of patients inflows, cloud infrastructure allows them to increase or decrease the amount of data stored, which can't be possible in self-hosted models. It allows healthcare institutions to adjust their infrastructure cost by removing unnecessary expenses and by focusing on important expenses only.

Hence, the use of cloud computing in healthcare can have a significant impact on the industry's future in several ways. It offers a variety of benefits, including reducing expenses or time, enhancing efficiency, scalability, and improving collaboration among healthcare researchers.

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