The advent of Cloud Computing in the healthcare industry is heralded as the Healthcare Information Revolution (HIR). Healthcare companies initiated into the cult of Cloud Computing have become ground for talk about the evolution of healthcare informationally. In the healthcare industry, cloud computing is marked by global sharing of electronic medi-records. It has brought to the menu of healthcare progress the merits of enhanced security and the limitless scope of innovation. This is made possible through communication with the healthcare matrix across the world.
The 1960s Genius: Conceived by J.C.R. Licklider, 1969 marked the birth of the ‘Intergalactic Computer Network’. He also introduced his brainchild- the idea of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). This was the starting of vision of a world where every person was virtually intertwined with one another through sharing of information and thus, experiences. Coupled with John McCarthy’s concept of computation distributed as a public service, it was not too late that the sunlight of cloud computing arrived with salesforce.com (1999). Amazon Web Services (2002) followed this with the basket of commercial virtual utilities (storage and computation) topping it with the intelligent Amazon Mechanical Turk. The 2000s visit the industry giants like Microsoft and Google emerging with what have been aptly called the ‘killer apps’ by Dan Germain (Chief Technology Officer of Cobweb Solutions). The buzz on the e-street echoes with the question of- What other kinds of killer apps could the giants come up with?
Cloud-Laden Medicare-Stories: They say that revolutions begin with the leaders emerging and lighting the torch. In the revolution of healthcare information technology, the giants have crossed the bridge over and above. Pfizer utilizes a high performance computing (HPC) software which wires together its research and development (R&D) initiatives. This makes convenient and secures the life-size analysis ventures and clinical models. Based on the Amazon AWS platform, Toshiba Medical System uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for storing imaging records. These are developed from the technologically-advanced medical imaging machines. Add to this list the following ten companies leading the healthcare enterprise across the world and we will be approximating the global impact of cloud computing: Schumacher Group, Hospital Housekeeping Systems, Philips Healthcare, Wellmark, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Regence Group, Eagle Genomics and Shire Pharmaceuticals.
Uses of Cloud Computing in Healthcare Industry: Majorly through platforms of Amazon, Windows and Force, cloud computing has arisen as the new-age cost-efficient and green way for organizations to form a dynamic environment of information storing and sharing as well as medical innovation.
Live Data: Information Here and Now
The existence of a cloud to store and back up the company’s electronic health records (EHRs) allows the reduction of physical storage costs piecing together a green image of the industry as well. It is not far in time that healthcare would rise as the Green Leader in the IT world. The age of carrying medical paperwork (radiology images, past medical history records) is replaced with accurately and transparently available e-data, preventing double-testing and allowing muscular accounting of costs and happenings of previous appointments.
Research and Discussion: Lives’ Amplifier
The history of medical world is freckled with stories where the transfer and accessibility to procedures, medical records, discoveries and technologies would have opened up the possibility of saving more lives. Cases like those of Stacey Whiteman (who began using OpenNotes for discussing her case of multiple sclerosis) bear testimony to the grandeur of cloud computing in healthcare industry. Health performers placed across the world can pool into the medical data resources of a case study when required in order to provide instant and innovative solutions.
Innovation: Global Out-of-Boxes
In February 2014, Forbes declared the radical innovative power that cloud computing possessed. Mentioning the two cases of Bay Area Rapid Transit and El Corte Ingles, it implied the spreading of the cloud computing revolution to diverse domains. The prophecy unfolded that eventually we will encounter Mass Information Exchange (MIE) through Virtual Cloud Realities. In what other ways do you think innovation could be bulbed through cloud computing?
Humane values: Bytes of Mind
The healthcare industry is run under bedrock of values of originality, service and respect. The flourishing of these values across a global level through the cloud computations allows for the strengthening of the healthcare industry as a whole.
Scope: The CC Playground
When a healthcare enterprise decides to move into cloud computing, the following factors determine the success of the movement:
- Type of applications- Clinical and Non-Clinical
While the clinical applications constitute the health records, imaging accounts, the non-clinical applications include administrative information and management data. In accordance with the type of application, the model for cloud computing is selected (hybrid, public and private). The three aspects of such a selection process are accessibility and availability requests, security and privacy necessities. While the non-clinical information is generally formed on the public cloud computing model, a company can choose to modify and customize the model to their inclination.
- Cloud Service Model- SaaS, PaaS and IaaS
Depending on the status and needs of the business, a healthcare company can choose between the following three models.
Today, the cloud computing market has the highest proportion dipped in Software as a Service (SaaS) where applications are provided through the web under the care of a third-party vendor and interface is under the access of the clients. The best examples for such a model are Google Apps, Concur and Cisco WebEx. This stands high for its Pay-Per-Use feature emerging as the most lucrative option for small-scale physicians since SaaS does not require an on-the-clock IT support.
Exemplified by Apprenda, under the Platform as a Service (PaaS) model, the cloud platform services are utilized for applications while the software holds provision for cloud applications. Here, there is a matrix which can be used as a construction site for your applications. This system is generally adopted by large-scale health enterprises which has the assets for building and maturity of its individual cloud-based services.
Primarily marked by the feature of self-service, the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model is drawn on for computation, networking and storage requirements. This is ideal for those who are looking to advancing their infrastructure, especially with its emphasis on dynamic environmental features like in-built backup. This system is adopted by Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Joyent.
Challenges: Craters on the Moon- Security, Reliability and Privacy (SRP)
With a prediction of coining over $9.48 Billion by the year of 2020, cloud computing opens space for the evolution of healthcare industry from physically-bound network of enterprises into on-the-cloud neighborhoods. Privacy and security form the core of challenged that the cloud computing industry faces today. The need to protect and maintain integrity of confidential data and formation of data jurisdictions swings as the pendulum between the extremes of high-security and freedom of information. Even though cloud computing has been greatly reliable and secure; the possibility of disruption of services always remains. The ladder of laws and policies to govern the exchange of data between networks of healthcare enterprises today climbs into definitional and infrastructural tests. Finally, healthcare enterprises often find the procedure for shifting from one cloud-vendor to another, cumbersome. Such processes could involve communication collapses and inconsistent declarations on the data. Do you think that currently the downs of cloud computing weigh too heavy on the ups of virtual reality?
While the path is being paved, those who have walked over the bridge into the home of cloud computing find themselves in hold of enhanced competence and greater responsibility. The healthcare industry waits on the bridge, gradually carrying the torch of evolution into the brighter era of cloud computing.