Cloud computing has been in the works for over 50 years. However, the IT industry witnessed its practical use around 2006, when the Google CEO introduced the term at an industry conference. Today, this technology is divided into various types and sub-types.
The “Cloud” terminology is widely used in the IT industry to represent various kinds of online services that utilize cloud computing to power several functions. For instance, large cloud-based systems, such as Cloudflare and AWS, have many functions distributed over multiple locations from their central servers.
In this post, we will discuss how cloud computing helps various healthcare organizations manage their daily functions that require the support of an extensive and complex IT infrastructure.
Pros & Cons Of Using Cloud Computing Within The Healthcare System
Cloud computing benefits the healthcare industry in a myriad of ways.
- First and foremost, cloud computing makes on-site system management much more economical, thus lowering the operational costs of healthcare providers.
- It also supports data-heavy IT technologies used in the healthcare space, such as e-medical records, mobile apps, and other software-enabled medical devices.
- Furthermore, it supports Big Data applications, improving patient analytics as well as contributing to therapeutic strategies.
Although several players in the healthcare industry had initial concerns about data privacy and security, these fears have largely been mitigated. However, there are a few risks keeping healthcare providers from adopting cloud server technologies. Some of those risks include –
- Implementation – Healthcare providers fear switching from an on-premise installation to a cloud may mean changing their workflow and handling tasks.
- Security dangers – Cloud systems are known to offer better security. However, in rare scenarios, even cloud technology faced its fair share of security breaches. This may concern healthcare providers while migrating to or adopting new technology.
- Availability and control – Healthcare organizations constantly require uninterrupted access to information at any given point. Downtimes on the cloud platform side can negatively impact their daily function. However, considering the robustness of today’s cloud systems, chances for downtimes are rare to almost nil.
- HIPAA compliance – Many healthcare providers have concerns that a cloud-based system may not comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ), which was enacted in 1996. It stipulates how patient data is managed and maintained within the healthcare industry. Violations of HIPAA can lead to fines and imprisonment.
Healthcare Industry Requirements Solved By The Cloud
As we mentioned earlier, cloud computing facilitates advanced resource management along with robust delivery systems where developers can deploy their applications as a service.
This has accelerated the development of several B2Bs in the IT service industry.
Let’s talk about healthcare management tool integration. Most healthcare providers rely on a number of IT systems to manage various domains that come within the purview of healthcare management. For instance, hospital databases are presumably vast, and traditional systems that help with management used to be invariably complex.
Today, cloud services provide ease of handling and operational accuracy with existing infrastructure as well as new setups that feature automated systems and big data applications. Cloud systems also enhance reporting capabilities in terms of visibility, reliability, and security, solving several compliance and security issues that constantly hinder healthcare management.
Last but not least, it has changed interfaces for users, admins, and even experienced developers. The introduction of technologies such as self-service interfaces not only helped organizations reduce operational costs but paved the way for tech migration and adoption.
Many companies invest billions of dollars per year in cloud technology research and development. This commitment to R&D has contributed to many emerging trends, such as virtual health and interactive systems. These systems foster better doctor-patient relationships by helping doctors focus more on the patient than they could have before.
For instance, cloud-enabled data analytics provides more information about the patient, helping healthcare professionals produce the most relevant solutions for improving the health and well-being of the patient.
In short, cloud computing has changed the face of the healthcare industry with its enhanced support for knowledge sharing and management.