Updated on 22 October 2013
At a micro-level, it would help deliver proactive care to the patient and improved support and satisfaction to care givers while at macro-level such as web of multidirectional information flow would help improve national healthcare infrastructure, formulate policies and prevent different types of adverse events including acute staff shortage, rise of an epidemic or a healthcare funding crisis. The role of advanced analytics powered by cloud computing is, of course, critical here as that would ensure that the right information is delivered to the right participant at the right time in the right format rather than just exchanging lengthy streams of data.
A devil's advocate would immediately jump to the challenges around information sharing protocols and the importance of patient privacy. This is where a unified approach to not only establishing policies and standards but also driving awareness and adoption could make all the difference. Initiatives in this direction have already started, such as the CommonWell Health Alliance which aims to improve interoperability between electronic health records (EHRs) and EMRs.
A number of companies, such as Cisco, are driving consumer awareness through research programs which point towards the added security that cloud offers to a healthcare environment, thus educating healthcare providers at a much larger level. Even leading software vendors like Microsoft and IBM are preparing for cloud transformation by proactively reaching out to customers with the benefits of virtualisation and working with them directly to chalk out a customized cloud solution that is optimal for their business.
In a highly competitive healthcare market it is important for healthcare IT vendors and hospitals to adopt innovative solutions in order to reduce cost and increase efficiency. Cloud storage and computing can help enhancing capabilities and provides tremendous value by achieving efficient use of software and hardware investments. This kind of infrastructure drives profitability by improving resource utilization and increasing their scalability. Technology companies, such as software vendors, system integrators and telecommunication service providers are collaborating amongst themselves to be able to provide a holistic solution to the customer.
Keeping in mind the long term benefits of such a technology many healthcare companies including medical device manufacturers and pharmaceuticals are joining the band wagon. There is tremendous promise for cloud solutions in the healthcare industry and is an ideal tool to leverage computing power at low cost.