Technologies in the healthcare IT industry are converging with time and are far outpacing the legacy systems used by hospitals and healthcare providers. Recently, cloud technology has started replacing these legacy systems and offers easier and faster access to this data stored in public and private or hybrid.
How Cloud Computing will help Healthcare Industry
Implementing and utilizing technology will offer healthcare practices significant benefits, with Cloud computing offering better access to healthcare services and information that would subsequently result in improved outcomes and increased cost savings. Other advantage is that healthcare data has specific requirements such as security, confidentiality, availability to authorized users, traceability of access, reversibility of data, and long-term preservation.
A recent Healthcare IT News survey found 48 percent of respondents planning to incorporate cloud computing into their health IT endeavours; 33 percent had already taken the plunge. But 19 percent answered with a "no".
Cloud technology in healthcare market has different models; applications, deployment models, service models, pricing models, and components. Applications in healthcare are of two main types, namely,
- Clinical Information Systems (CIS)
- Non Clinical Information Systems (NCIS)
CIS includes EMR, CPOE, PACS, RIS, LIS, PIS, and others while NCIS includes revenue cycle management, Automatic Patient Billing, cost accounting, payroll management, and claims management.
The healthcare industry is slowly adopting public clouds due to its highly regulated nature whereas the private and hybrid cloud models have a higher affinity.
Cloud computing is a utility based or pay-per-use type of a service and the market can be categorized by two types of pricing models offered by the service vendors, the pay-as-you-go model and the subscription-based or spot pricing model, while keeping operating costs to a minimum, covering only the essentials. Additionally patient data stored in the Cloud, health professionals and hospitals will no longer need to invest in storage systems.
Today, many pharmacology vendors including Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have started embracing cloud computing and major cloud vendors like Amazon, Oracle and IBM have developed pharma-specific clinical research cloud offerings with a goal of lowering the cost and development of new drug.
Cloud based solutions have their own pros and cons. A solution should be selected based on the features and needs of the organization; not based on whether it is cloud based or on-premise. Most of the cloud vendors like Microsoft, Amazon, Dell, etc provide Healthcare Cloud with custom settings and user specified options, which help increase productivity.
Ultimately, Cloud computing helps physicians to provide better patient care at a lower cost without sacrificing their quality of work and productivity.