Need for speed will send doctors to the cloud, experts say
Many healthcare providers are nervous about using the cloud, but that may change soon. Stanton Jones, an analyst in emerging technology at Information Services Group (ISG), says when companies use the cloud, they speed up.
"The trepidation is not about the cloud itself," says Jones, a former CIO. "The real concern is, 'Where is my data, who has access to it, and can I get it back?'"
Healthcare providers are going to overcome this fear, probably sooner than later, says Jones. “Use of the cloud is moving past the necessity of cost savings, now it’s a speed thing.”
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“In general, there is a slowness to adopt the cloud, based on security issues around it," says David McCament, director of the healthcare vertical at ISG (pictured at right). "There is an awful lot of trepidation in healthcare on the IT and business side of it, because [providers] aren’t as familiar with it."
The financial services sector has been moving data "fairly safely" in the cloud for years, McCament says. "If you look at healthcare, they’ve been slow because the information is more personal."
Providers are more challenged than ever to share health information in a timely, accurate fashion, he says. "The data is being used for life and death."
McCament says healthcare's conversion to the cloud will probably evolve a little at a time – "taking bite-sized chunks and moving them out there."
Many of the larger healthcare systems and payers have tackled this already. Some have spent billions. But for smaller providers, it’s difficult being asked to make such big investments in health IT, he says.