As security improves, healthcare orgs head to the cloud

While the healthcare industry has been slow to consider the cloud, industry-wide demand to use health data to improve system efficiency, deliver value-based care and enable productive collaborations is speeding up investment in cloud solutions.

Jeff Rowe | Dec 01, 2017 12:00 am

As it has with other new technologies, the healthcare sector has been slow to consider seriously moving to the cloud.  But that’s changing as an increasing number of decision makers are convinced that cloud environments are more secure than on-premise infrastructure, especially when it comes to data back-up and disaster recovery.

According to a new report from Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare Cloud Computing Outlook, Global, 2016–2021, the global market for healthcare cloud computing—revenue generated by cloud computing services offered to providers—will be worth almost $10 billion by 2021, primarily driven by the need to store the exponentially increasing volume of healthcare data.

"The volume of unstructured medical and health data that is generated outside of clinical settings is growing exponentially, while the need for such data sets is even direr among providers, pharmaceuticals, medical technology vendors, governments, and university researchers," said Digital Health Research Manager Natasha Gulati in a statement. "Growing awareness of the benefits of open platforms and increasing industry focus on interoperability and collaborative solution design are creating a huge demand for vertically integrated cloud platforms that open the data to multiple stakeholders who are willing to share the risks and the rewards of shared data assets."

According to the company, the report analyses key growth opportunities, business models, challenges, drivers, and industry-specific solutions being introduced using cloud platforms. Market participants, buyer behavior, and customer expectations are also assessed.

"An increasing number of providers are opting to build versus buy when it comes to their organizational applications. In the past few years there have been significant investments in internal apps that integrate with EHRs, with the United States taking the lead in this area," noted Gulati.

Furthermore, hospitals, physician practices, and other facets of the continuum of care will rapidly adopt cloud platforms to improve data and application access, enhance interoperability, and manage, store, and archive a wide range of health data for the enterprise. Applications that leverage de-identified patient information that is collated from and analysed at multiple points of care are an important growth opportunity.