The future of cloud computing in the healthcare industry

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Healthcare is changing and our use of technology to help us improve healthcare is also evolving. There is evidence to suggest that cloud computing can play a major role in the future of healthcare and that this technology can even help healthcare practitioners to make more accurate diagnostics, for example. 

Let’s take a closer look at the role the cloud is playing in the industry and also consider any downsides that might emerge.

Why does healthcare need the cloud?

Healthcare institutions and professionals have moved increasingly towards a collaborative approach in recent years. When embarking on research initiatives, healthcare professionals need to store masses of data and are beginning to need computers and storage with higher capabilities as a result of this change. 

Moving data storage to the cloud, then, has obvious advantages as local servers are no longer needed for data storage and computer memory can be freed up. In addition, storing information in the cloud means that any healthcare provider working on a particular case or project can access the data needed any time, anywhere, helping with the collaborative approach now preferred by many.

As well as these storage and accessibility advantages, cloud computing also allows for cost savings, system scalability to suit each particular organisation, and greater flexibility. There are specific cloud computing modules that are designed for the healthcare industry, which can actually help practitioners make better-informed decisions about patient care, with regards to prescriptions, for example.

Are there any disadvantages to using the cloud for healthcare?

In organisations like the NHS, patient data confidentiality is obviously a major concern and there have been some worries that a move to the cloud could open the healthcare industry up to cybercriminal activity. However, blockchain is now being implemented in many healthcare cloud systems, which is helping to protect data and generally improve data security throughout the industry.

These factors have combined to result in forecasts that the healthcare cloud computing market will grow by 22 per cent  in the period between 2018 and 2022.

An analyst from Technavio, which is the firm behind the market predictions, explained: “Some other major factors such as the introduction of edge computing, integrated service offerings for the healthcare industry, and increasing number of cloud vendors, and development of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) will boost market growth during the forecast period.”


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