For many years now, public institutions and private companies operating in the healthcare sector have been taking advantage of advances in technology to improve patient care, simplify operations, increase security, and grow the bottom line. In this context, cloud computing has gradually emerged as a key technology that can offer important benefits both to those providing healthcare services and to those receiving them.
Through the network (the “cloud,” in fact), cloud technology provides healthcare organizations with a wide range of computing services. By leveraging cloud computing, healthcare providers can securely store and access massive amounts of data, streamline workflows, improve collaboration, and access advanced analytical tools to support their decision making. Broad and simplified accessibility to medical information also affects patients, who can use the digital tools available to them to exercise greater control over the healthcare decisions that affect them (for example, through a simple internet connection, patients can access their medical records, test results, and treatment plans from wherever they are).
The benefits of the cloud in the healthcare sector are considerable and they are many. Here, we will describe the main ones in 10 points.
Ten Benefits of Cloud Computing in Healthcare
According to Research and Markets, the size of the global healthcare cloud market reached a value of $37.14 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a rate of 15.60% for the next eight years, to reach a value of $136.92 billion by 2031. If the market is growing at such a fast pace, it’s because the benefits it is creating are real and expanding.
Migrating to the cloud can help organizations improve data security, increase productivity and process efficiency by simplifying their IT infrastructure, maintain continuity of vital services, and encourage patient participation in their own care journey.
Let us elaborate.
Improved accessibility and mobility
One of the major benefits of cloud technology in healthcare is the ability to access critical data and applications from anywhere, at any time. Healthcare providers are no longer tied to specific locations or devices. This increased mobility allows physicians and nurses to access patient records, collaborate on treatment plans, and even conduct telemedicine appointments remotely.
Patients also benefit from increased access to their medical records, leading to more informed decision making and greater involvement in their own healthcare.
Increased data security
Data security is a top priority in healthcare, and cloud technology, by combining multiple technologies to protect data and applications, offers robust solutions for protecting patient privacy. Cloud service providers invest heavily in security measures to safeguard data from unauthorized access or breaches, for example by storing it on a remote server, or through encryption, firewalls, and continuous monitoring. Cloud-based solutions also enable healthcare organizations to maintain strict compliance with industry regulations.
Scalability and flexibility
Scalability refers to the ease with which a company’s IT infrastructure can be expanded when growth is needed and reduced if growth slows or stops. Cloud computing, which allows companies to set up virtual servers on demand and use them as needed, is inherently scalable.
Healthcare organizations also often experience fluctuations in data storage and processing requirements, and cloud technology offers the scalability and flexibility to adapt to their changing needs. With cloud-based solutions, healthcare providers can easily scale up or down their resources, ensuring they have the computing power and storage capacity they need for their specific needs. This agility allows them to respond quickly to increased patient volume or the launch of new research initiatives, for example.
Maintaining traditional IT infrastructure can be expensive, with costs for hardware and software procurement, maintenance, and upgrades. Cloud technology offers a more cost-effective alternative. healthcare providers can move to an operational spending model where they pay only for the resources they use: lower upfront costs are matched by the ability to scale up or down as needed. This cost efficiency extends to software licensing: because many cloud-based applications are subscription-based, the need for expensive upfront purchases or upgrades, which are often essential when using traditional IT systems, is reduced. The cost savings from cloud computing are a significant benefit for many healthcare providers, who often have limited budgets.
Data analytics and research advances
In the era of big data, cloud technology plays a key role in healthcare research and analytics. Cloud platforms provide the computing power and storage capacity needed to analyze vast data sets quickly and efficiently. Researchers can gain insightful information from electronic health records, genomic data, and clinical trials, leading to advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Data archiving is a key component of healthcare: electronic health records are essential for patient diagnosis and treatment, but they are also extraordinary digital communication tools for healthcare organizations. The capabilities of electronic health records (which have also existed for decades) have been refined and specialized primarily through the development of cloud-based storage systems. Thanks to these systems, today’s medical records can be accessed from any device at any time and are also more efficient and easier to use than ever before.
The development of applications based on machine learning and artificial intelligence is directly related to increased access to data, advancement in analytics, and expansion of storage space.
Disaster recovery and business continuity
In the event of unexpected catastrophic events and emergencies, cloud technology offers reliable solutions for the recovery of critical health services. Data stored in the cloud is replicated across multiple data centers, reducing the risk of loss or compromise. In the event of an outage, healthcare organizations can quickly restore their data and applications, minimizing downtime and maintaining business continuity and patient care.
Collaboration, which can be defined as the process of working together toward a common goal, is critical for any organization, all the more so in the Healthcare sector where the stakes are very high and effective collaboration among healthcare providers is essential to delivering high-quality patient care. Although the healthcare sector has been slow to adopt them, digital collaborative practices have begun to catch on rapidly in part due to the support of cloud technology, which facilitates seamless data sharing among healthcare providers, specialists, institutions and patients. The benefits are clear: better patient care, greater efficiency and reduced costs.
It is through cloud-based communication tools that healthcare providers can engage in more effective collaborative care models. Specialists and care teams can securely access the same data, sharing it in real time and providing comprehensive, coordinated care. This collaborative approach minimizes the potential for errors and duplication in treatment, and ensures that patients receive the most appropriate and efficient care possible.
We’ve said it many times: cloud computing allows easy access from anywhere, anytime. This is because it enables advanced interoperability.
Interoperability is the ability of different software systems, applications, or digital devices to work together seamlessly and exchange data in a standardized and efficient manner. Interoperability ensures that heterogeneous digital systems can communicate, share information and operate cohesively, even if they are developed by different vendors or serve different purposes.
In healthcare, for example, interoperability enables different systems that support electronic health record recording and storage to communicate with each other, ensuring that patient data can be shared securely among healthcare providers, improving patient care and reducing human error. Physicians can easily access patient records from home or the office without traveling to the hospital or clinic where they work.
Cloud technology has given new impetus to data management and communication activities in the healthcare sector, introducing ways for providers and patients to interact seamlessly. It has provided a secure and accessible platform for healthcare providers, patients, and stakeholders to connect and collaborate.
The most advanced cloud-based communication solutions (for CRM or CCM) are leveraged on demand, continuously updated, and easily personalized. They are also designed with a seamless omnichannel perspective, enabling real-time sharing of information and action from multiple devices, simultaneously.
That’s what happens with electronic health records and telemedicine tools: healthcare providers can easily share information about their patients, test results, and treatment plans in real time, regardless of where they are physically located. In turn, patients benefit from improved access to their medical records, appointment scheduling, and remote consultations. Not only that, by being able to enjoy custom-developed content, they are more likely to be (and feel) involved in the care pathways prepared for them by physicians and specialists.
Cloud technology also enables healthcare institutions to use data analytics and artificial intelligence to design personalized care plans and implement proactive healthcare management, facilitating more meaningful interactions between patients and healthcare providers.
Cloud technology enables healthcare organizations to personalize patient experiences by leveraging data analytics to extract artificial intelligence-based insights. By analyzing patient data stored in the cloud, healthcare providers can identify trends, predict health risks, and tailor treatment plans to individual needs. This personalized approach not only improves patient engagement, it also results in more effective and efficient healthcare delivery and ultimately a high-quality patient experience.
The cloud’s ability to securely store and analyze large amounts of data enables healthcare providers to deliver tailored services and treatments like never before. With access to complete patient histories and the ability to gain relevant and useful insights, healthcare providers can create personalized care plans that consider each individual’s history, lifestyle, and preferences. This level of personalization fosters a stronger bond of trust between patients and their healthcare providers, as patients feel heard, understood, and valued throughout their treatment journey.
Whether it is recommending personalized wellness plans, suggesting preventive measures, or adapting treatment regimens, cloud technology enables healthcare providers to deliver care that is not only effective but also in line with the specific needs of each patient.
In conclusion, thanks to its enormous computing power, cloud technology allows a significant amount of data to be collected from the most diverse sources and processed with an increasing level of depth. In order to take full advantage of the capabilities of cloud technology and govern them in such a way as to make the dialog between healthcare organizations and their patients effectively effective and targeted, it’s becoming increasingly essential to turn to companies that specialize in personalizing communication, companies such as Doxee.
We have seen the benefits of the cloud in healthcare: they are many and all of primary importance. The greatest benefit, however, which encompasses all the benefits we have discussed, can be summarized as follows: the cloud enables the building of a healthier, more connected ecosystem. An ecosystem where patients experience full and fluid access to their health information and health services, and in which providers can rely on advanced communication tools for personalized care.
Adopting cloud-based solutions is no longer just one alternative among others, but an urgency that healthcare organizations cannot ignore if they hope to remain competitive.