Healthcare Advances to Cloud Computing

By CIOReview | Tuesday, March 4, 2014
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FREMONT, CA: The healthcare industry too has adopted cloud which has turned out to be a boon. Thanks to the government mandates, limitations in digital storage, staffing issues and lack of internal IT infrastructure, it is reaching new heights. However, regulatory, privacy and security concerns have slowed down its adoption. Despite the security issues, its adoption is estimated to grow to $5.4 bn by 2017. "The flip side of this advantage is that healthcare data has specific requirements such as security, confidentiality, availability to authorized users, traceability of access, reversibility of data and long-term preservation," reports MarketsandMarkets.

Cloud in the medical market is divided into applications, deployment, service and pricing models, and components. The applications segment includes Clinical Information Systems (CIS) and Non Clinical Information Systems. Private, public and hybrid clouds are the three deployment models used across this sector. The industry has adopted itself to the private and to the hybrid models in a big way; however, it has been slow adopting the public cloud due to its regulatory nature. The service models include the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), with SaaS dominating over the others. The services offered by the service vendors in cloud computing is utility based, pay-per-use, subscription based or spot pricing model.

The healthcare market is observing an upswing in the adoption of the cloud technology. This will make the healthcare organizations deliver more while limiting or cutting the costs simultaneously. Earlier, the acceptance of the cloud by healthcare professionals was limited to just 4 percent in 2011. Now, the same organizations and professionals who did not want to adopt the cloud are allocating funds for migrating to this growing technology in a big way in the next five years.

Without the cloud advantage, treatment for patients could be delayed if the Electronic Health Records (EHR) had to be shared across different geographic locations. Cloud is useful to store radiology images in archiving and communications systems. It also offers, hospitals and clinics which require, quick computing and large storage facilities which are not available in traditional settings. The technology presents the industry with numerous opportunities for improving services to the customers and patients; while also bettering and enhancing operational efficiency.

With its quick progress since its evolution, it is not far when the cloud technology will surpass its expected growth sooner than expected.