Delivery of various computing services including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics & intelligence over the internet can be termed cloud computing. Cloud computing offers faster innovation, flexible resources along with economies of scale. It’s a pay-as-you-go model which helps in lowering the operating costs while using the infrastructure more efficiently and allowing businesses to scale up or down as needed.
Benefits of Cloud Computing:
Cloud computing is a major shift from how businesses view and use IT resources and offers many benefits like;
Cost — Cloud computing can help businesses eliminate infrastructure capital costs of purchasing hardware/software along with the expenses of setting up and running the data centers, the electricity costs, and staff costs needed to maintain it all.
Scale — Cloud computing eases Infrastructure scaling capabilities and delivers IT resources as needed including computing power, storage, bandwidth, etc.
Performance — Cloud computing data centers are run on a secure worldwide network and are routinely upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware which reduce network latency for applications and offer economies of scale.
Security — Cloud providers offer a broad range of policies, technologies, and controls that strengthens the overall security of the data, apps, and overall infrastructure from potential threats.
Reliability — Cloud computing data centers offer backup, and disaster recovery facilities and the data is mirrored at multiple sites making it a more reliable option than an onsite data center.
A federal mandate for electronic medical records became effective on January 1st, 2014, and was signed into law as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It requires all hospitals and healthcare facilities to show relevant use of electronic medical records for storing information about patient interactions.
The basic goal of cloud computing in the healthcare sector is to improve quality, safety, and efficiency, healthcare coordination, and to maintain patient privacy and security.
Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare:
Streamline collaborative patient care — Cloud computing makes it easier for healthcare professionals to store, share and view patients’ records collaboratively. This helps doctors take a holistic view of a patient’s past illnesses, diagnoses, etc, and use this information to engage with the patient in a comprehensive way.
Reduction in storage costs — Cloud computing offers scalable hardware and software solutions that are available on the pay-as-you-go method. This helps healthcare providers to reduce the costs of buying and maintaining expensive hardware and software solutions.
Security — By outsourcing data storage to third-party cloud storage services which are HIPAA compliant, the security of the data is preserved and the privacy of patients is not compromised.
Enhancing patient safety — By using cloud services, any affiliated healthcare service can access and view patient records. This can help prevent over-prescription or under-prescription of medication. Such collaboration can help the patients and also the healthcare facility from patient complaints.
Medical research — By leveraging big data and analytics along with cloud computing capabilities, medical researchers can access huge data computing power for their research purposes.
Examples of Cloud Computing in Healthcare:
Some examples of the use of cloud computing in the healthcare sector
NetAPP — A hybrid cloud data services company that has a management platform that provides clinical data in real-time, helping make operations faster and efficient through reduced EHR latency. It offers faster data backup, data restoration, workload expansion, and streamlining of data management.
Medsphere Systems — It offers a variety of cloud-based IT solutions for the healthcare sector. Medsphere’s electronic health record platform provides services for clinical, financial, accounting, nursing, and many other sections of the healthcare sector. It uses Microsoft Azure secure cloud platform and assists with scheduling, registration, medical record-keeping, billing, claims etc.
ClearDATA — This platform powers critical applications and can detect changes in cloud accounts automatically. It is a HIPAA-compliant cloud service and protects data via regulatory safeguards.
Nintex — It assists in eliminating paper documents, and streamlining manual processes which is crucial to a better experience for patients. It provides automation services to several healthcare professionals like pharmaceutical manufacturers, makers of medical devices, doctors etc.
Medable — Medable has a medical-grade platform that promotes patient healthcare and supports clinical applications and storage of personal health records for healthcare providers and researchers. This platform can also be used by developers to create apps for various mobile devices including tablets and desktops.
CareCloud — It’s an open platform and helps healthcare providers improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Applications like revenue cycle management, practice management, electronic health records, patient experience, and healthcare analytics are available on this platform.
athenahealth — Its cloud-based platform assists healthcare providers in managing patient data analytics, documentation, and services. It allows access to patient health records, telesupport, revenue management, marketing programs etc.
Allscripts — It provides health documentation management, patient engagement, analytics, and other services. It has an electronic health record application called Sunrise.
Pfizer — This well-known worldwide pharmaceutical and biotechnology company has been using cloud-based platforms. In 2019, it partnered with BioNTech in developing the Covid-19 vaccine. It works along with Amazon Web Services to create cloud-based solutions and aims to accelerate and improve the development, manufacturing, and distribution process for clinical trial testing.
To conclude, cloud technology and its applications are vital for the healthcare sector. The Covid-19 pandemic has given an extra thrust for the healthcare sector to actively move from legacy and traditional business models to technology-driven models using cloud-native platforms. The good overweighs the challenges and helps healthcare organizations offer and deliver value to patients and their workforce. Cloud computing in the medical field is now essential and choosing an experienced software company is crucial.