Smart cloud solutions are rapidly becoming the new standard across multiple industries around the world, including healthcare. Cloud services have been around for quite some time now, and while many businesses adopted this technology years ago, others still think of cloud computing as a futuristic solution.
Healthcare professionals are always adapting to this ever-changing tech environment to effectively cater to the needs of both patients and businesses. Keeping medical records in a safe and secure environment, migrating patient information and other internet-based services, as well as high-speed data transfers are just a few benefits of a healthcare cloud-based solution.
For the healthcare industry, ‘the cloud’ isn’t something new, however, the rate at which its adoption has been increasing recently is worth noticing. A 2020 report published by Technavio shows that during 2020-2024, the global market for healthcare cloud technologies is expected to grow by $25.5 billion. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced its growth.
A global shift: Cloud computing and COVID-19
As social distancing becomes the new norm, industries across the globe are having to adapt and reevaluate their approach when it comes to conducting day-to-day business, and healthcare is no exception. Now more than ever, a reliable cloud solution is critical for any healthcare establishment, including clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Medics have to rethink their doctor-patient interactions, which has led to the surge of telehealth in the cloud computing market. A recent report published by Frost & Sullivan shows that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth by two years. Furthermore, even when the coronavirus crisis subsides, this technology will more than likely still be used. Similarly, beacon technology has been applied in the development of Covid-19 risk management systems and will probably be used in the development of other custom medical software in the future. Cloud computing will most likely follow a similar pattern.
Now let’s get into specifics.
Which are the 5 main benefits of cloud computing for healthcare?
Cloud services ease the lives of both healthcare practitioners and patients by leveraging data, accessibility, payments, and more. This overall maximizes efficiency, ensures safety and reduces costs. Below are the top 5 benefits of ‘the cloud’ for the healthcare industry.
Collaboration is vital in healthcare. A cloud solution can streamline the workflow among doctors, departments, and other healthcare institutions by allowing parties to share and transfer data through a secure cloud or hybrid server. Furthermore, a cloud-based solution strengthens the bond and collaboration between doctors and patients, as the two can easily share medical information with each other at any time, including important health updates, patient conditions, and more. A cloud solution also guarantees access to video conferencing and quick collaboration between healthcare providers.
Probably one of the main concerns when it comes to cloud computing is security, especially since the implementation of new GDPR regulations concerning personal data protection. Moreover, healthcare institutions also need to comply with privacy standards, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). However, if done right, cloud services can actually help increase security and keep confidential files safe thanks to secure and encrypted servers. This solution allows for secure data transfers of any kind throughout the cloud.
3. Data Storage
Massive and outdated data cabinets filled with physical patient data and information are – or should be – things of the past. With a cloud solution, healthcare professionals are able to store countless patient files and large amounts of data, and eliminate the risk of losing crucial patient information. Plus, a cloud will also allow them to manage and analyze medical records efficiently, without having to worry about physical storage space for countless medical files: everything on the server is organized and ready to be accessed at all times.
4. Scalability & flexibility
Cloud computing delivers an edge for healthcare providers by allowing them to increase or decrease their data storage depending on needs, patient volume, and other factors. This grants healthcare institutions the ability to adapt their technology needs seasonally, depending on when certain illnesses are more frequent – like flu seasons. Moreover, in case of disasters or difficult periods (e.g.: COVID-19), a cloud solution can highly optimize the way information reaches healthcare professionals in order to rapidly prepare them for duty.
5. AI & machine learning
If there’s one field where there’s a constant need for optimization and automation, it’s healthcare. The massive amounts of data that healthcare institutions juggle is astounding, and now more than ever, with a pandemic going on, integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning can help streamline many processes. This technology allows healthcare professionals to easily organize unstructured data and solve complex issues in a matter of minutes with AI assistance. This way, they’ll be more efficient and use their time to do what they do best, namely save patients’ lives.
These are the 5 most important benefits of cloud computing, but the list is definitely not exhaustive. If you’re thinking of integrating a flexible cloud platform designed for comprehensive instrument management for your healthcare business, SMEDIX is eager to help you achieve this. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re in need of assistance or have any questions whatsoever.