From streamlined data access to backup and recovery, cloud-based technology can radically alter the way the health industry functions. Healthcare has long been operating on legacy systems but has lately seen the demand for digital transformation at multiple levels. For instance, mHealth apps, medical wearables, virtual medicine have given patients the opportunity to receive personalised care at necessary times. The growth of Electronic Health Record technology and the need for interoperability between platforms has given rise to the need for cloud-based technology as it offers safe, speedy, and cost-effective solutions for a variety of purposes. Let’s see how. 

Routine administration

Making and tracking appointments, financial management/planning, maintaining patient records, and clinical/non-clinical data can be easily streamlined and updated on cloud platforms, whether through IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS cloud computing models. Additionally, patient support can be managed easily by cloud-based smart routing systems and customizable IVR. medical imaging can be securely stored in cloud platforms as they come equipped with the capacity to handle and learn from large data sets which when used in conjunction with big data analytics, can help with diagnosis support and speed up medical research and predictive healthcare.

Data interoperability/collaboration

Collaborative healthcare is the new norm since the adoption of Electronic Health Record. Cloud platforms work on the essence of interoperability and are capable of collecting, analysing, and sharing data from various IoMT devices, pharmacies, medical insurance companies, hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers so that a more customer-oriented approach can be implemented that also benefits all EHR stakeholders in eliminating errors and delays in exchange of vital information. Centralised and decentralised databases can be seamlessly integrated using cloud technology.

Cost-effectiveness of data storage

Physical storage of data like patient charts, invoices, medical reports, pharmacy prescription, accounting paperwork, etc. is not feasible in a digital age as the requirements for on-premises infrastructure would be too huge. Cloud storage models can store large amounts of data at prices that fit the budget of small, medium or large healthcare providers. Hospitals, labs, and doctors don’t need to invest in complex IT infrastructure if they migrate to cloud storage with pay per use and subscription models. They can simply focus on patient care instead of tech administration and operational cost.

Telemedicine

Using cloud computing to provide virtual medicine has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry. Doctors and therapists can provide high-quality personalised care to patients virtually by using cloud-based apps and software. In terms of patient monitoring, cloud-based tools like biosensors, in-home care devices, wearables, etc., can provide continuity of care and promptly diagnose signals of distress and deterioration by remotely monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, movement, and other bodily functions. Cloud computing enables videoconferencing and multimedia medical consultation, diagnostic and treatment services and has store and forward application which is the ability to asynchronously transmit the patient’s medical data from one provider to another, for instance from a lab technician to a specialist. 

Scalability

Cloud computing offers cheaper, faster, and highly customisable scalability solutions to healthcare needs. Investing in physical storage and administration takes time and a considerable amount of money. Cloud services can be upgraded or downgraded instantly as per business requirements. Pay-as-you-go agreements can give you the flexibility of data storage for current needs while giving you the estimate of cost if you need to upgrade in the future. Healthcare institutions can choose the features they would need in their cloud platform out of the pricing models and even get customised solutions.

Privacy and data security

Confidentiality and security of patients’ healthcare data and history is of vital importance as it’s prone to be hacked or breached. Cloud computing technology is designed with advanced security tools and protocols for added layers of security. Cloud providers are required to be compliant with national and international codes and legal mandates with regards to Electronic Medical Records so sensitive information cannot be tampered with. 

Big data applications

Cloud technology can enable real-time feedback and analysis of medical information, essentially making the healthcare industry more patient-centric and data-driven. Cloud-based data analytics can help with business intelligence from a variety of data sources which can be used to create precise and targeted marketing campaigns and promotions. It can help immensely in medical research of epidemiology, prediction of diseases, and clinical trials. Cloud analytics can help hospitals arrive at evidence-based decision-making using cloud analytics, predictive analysis, AI/ML-powered tools, and resources. Outcomes can be constantly monitored by Cloud Analytics by analysing from various connected medical devices. Healthcare providers should strategize which cloud-based tools to leverage for their specific needs, whether they be for marketing, business analysis/ diagnostics, or patient monitoring, prevention, and managed care. 

In summary, cloud technology has explosive potential to impact the healthcare industry positively for safer, quicker, and better patient care.