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Are cloud based solutions right for the healthcare environment?

Doctor cloudThe tech industry today is abuzz with information about the cloud: what it is, how it is being developed and implemented, and why it matters. In the complex world of healthcare, many doctors and administrators are still unsure about what the cloud is and whether or not it can help them do their work. Because of the nature of the medical field and the already-existing applications for cloud technology, cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are very well suited for each other.

The Cloud’s Current Position In Healthcare

Reports and research show that the cloud is already being harnessed regularly in the healthcare field. Markets and Markets, a research firm based in Texas, projects that by 2017 the global healthcare cloud computing market will be worth $5.4 billion. M&M further reports that many HCOs are setting aside money to migrate their systems to the cloud in the next five years. Adoption is happening quickly: in a more recent Forbes Article, Louis Columbus references data indicating that 83% of IT executives say they already use cloud services.

An article in CIO also points to the rise of cloud use in the healthcare field: Brian Eastwood writes about a 31% rise between 2012 and 2013 in the use of the cloud for storing personal health information. It is clear that the cloud is present and on the rise in healthcare, but healthcare professionals looking to truly understand the connection between healthcare and the cloud also have to examine why the cloud is entering the field at such a rapid rate.

Why The Cloud And Healthcare Are Perfect For Each Other

Cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry make sense together primarily because of the way that the cloud stores and provides access to data, which is an integral process in the medical field. There are many healthcare applications where cloud solutions can make information access easier and more streamlined than traditional methods:

  • Managing payment and financial data: the cloud makes it much easier for administrators across an entire healthcare facility or system of facilities to access and edit financial data, which makes accounting procedures less difficult to manage
  • Backup and disaster recovery: in case of a major natural disaster or other event that wreaks havoc on a healthcare facility’s on-site computing systems, cloud solutions will make recovery much easier
  • Clinical data and applications: this is a huge reason that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are a good match. Cloud solutions mean that doctors and their staff can access clinical tools used for patient care from any location, which makes it easier to review patient records, make notes about treatment options, and provide more accurate diagnoses

Although it is clear that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry will work well together, there are hurdles to this union. Some network administrators express concern over potential challenges with security and HIPAA compliance that the cloud might pose. Regardless of these obstacles, current data and future projections indicate that cloud based solutions and the healthcare industry are going to be closely connected for many years into the future.

Jim Colquhoun

About Jim Colquhoun

Jim Colquhoun is the Chief Technologist for Avidex. Jim brings an exceptional record of management and operational experience, as well as expertise in the design and integration of communications, AV, and broadcast systems. Jim can be reached at jcolquhoun@avidexav.com