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Published: Jun 28 2021

Cloud Computing is Shaping the Future of Healthcare

By Stephanie Leontis, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Healthcare, Accruent

Even before the COVID-10 pandemic, healthcare organizations were exploring digital transformation strategies to survive and to provide an optimal patient-centered care experience. Since the pandemic, hospitals and health systems have had no choice but to transform care delivery to meet the challenge of the pandemic. In a matter of months, years’ worth of digital evolution occurred in healthcare.

According to the 2020 Enterprise Cloud Index Report by Nutanix, the future of healthcare is dependent on decommissioning of legacy architecture. Currently, more healthcare companies run exclusively traditional, non-cloud enabled data centers and business systems (27%) than any other industry.

Legacy systems need modernization initiatives to begin scaling if the organizations want to transform their care and efficiency. This transformation is achieved by accelerating the shift in workloads from the data centers to the cloud.

The healthcare sector faces numerous challenges, including rigorous and ever-changing regulations, privacy concerns and lost revenue. Yet, healthcare professionals are already seeing how the benefits of the digital revolution are profoundly transforming the industry. These changes include:

  • Clinical information technology (IT) moving toward more centralized and connected enterprise IT infrastructures that support efforts to improve data management, interoperability and clinical systems integration.
  • Clinical devices becoming more connected, which can help medical professionals work faster and more efficiently so that they can spend more time with patients and reduce healthcare costs.
  • AI and machine learning to streamline the supply chain with technologies such as predictions, recommendations and trend identification.

27% of healthcare companies still run exclusively traditional, non-cloud enabled data centers and business systems

How the Cloud is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

The use of the cloud provides an opportunity to the health care environment to improve services for patients, to easily share information, improve operational efficiency, and streamline costs. It makes medical record-sharing easier and safer and automates backend operations.

Benefits include:

Security

If done with proper safeguards, cloud servers increase the security of healthcare providers. In the case of on-premise solutions, if the equipment fails, healthcare organizations may lose all their data and applications.

Cost

Since cloud computing runs under a subscription model, healthcare providers can save money from purchasing expensive systems and equipment. By adopting a cloud server, healthcare institutions can also reduce costs by using the cloud provider’s resources.

Scalability

Since cloud computing runs under a subscription model, healthcare providers can save money from not purchasing expensive systems and equipment, as well as reduce costs by using the cloud provider’s resources.

Data Storage

Healthcare providers deal with electronic medical records, patient portals, mobile apps and big data analytics. Cloud computing allows healthcare institutions to store all that data while avoiding extra costs of maintaining physical servers.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

As the world continues to fight a global pandemic, and with the complexity and rise of data, AI and machine learning capabilities can be a crucial solution to support clinical decisions, both for patient treatment and operational efficiencies. As more cloud platforms integrate AI and ML into their services, cloud computing can support the transition of artificial intelligence into mainstream healthcare operations and help users manage massive amounts of data.

Interoperability

Interoperability between connected medical devices and the various systems and applications that store patient data have has become an increasingly important issue. There are a growing number of IoT-enabled devices for the health care industry, and without an accepted standard for communication and data transfer between devices, healthcare systems are lacking many of the benefits of a connected health care environment.

Organizations that expand their cloud capabilities today will be able to effectively adapt to the changing landscape of health care in the coming years.

Final Thoughts

Consumers expect their healthcare experience to be the same seamless, digital experience that they get from companies like Amazon. They might not be aware of what is happening behind of the scenes of a health system to optimize their experience. However, consumers will soon demand experiences such as predictive care, accurate staffing, lower medication errors, easy and accurate access to their medical health records, remote-monitored IoT medical devices and more, that they can only get if your hospital supports those applications from the cloud.

The world is moving fast and healthcare organizations that digitally transform their businesses and modernize their operations will lead the pack and outpace their competition, particularly in a post-COVID world. But getting this right requires modernizing legacy systems – so that’s where you must start.

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