Healthcare spans from small doctor’s offices to huge university hospital. Beyond this, doctors and researchers from around the globe take part in research and analysis -- often encompassing huge data sets. But not everyone uses the same software. And not everyone is on the same system. Cloud computing offers rich benefits in the healthcare industry and is clearly the future of medical IT. Here are four ways in which cloud computing is changing the face of communications in the healthcare industry. 92% of healthcare organizations are currently using or transitioning to cloud computing. Here’s why.
Tech Savvy Patients
As American households increasingly adopt technology for all aspects of their life, more and more patients are turning to technology to work for their healthcare needs. Many providers have moved toward virtual visits where a video conference is used to discuss and diagnose non-threatening symptoms. Scripts are provided and the patient never sees their doctor for a cold or sinus infection that would require an office visit only a few years ago. Additionally, most hospital networks and providers now use patient portals where lab and imaging tests can be scanned quickly -- skipping a visit to say, “All clear!”
The benefits of cloud computing in healthcare is clear: time is saved and money saved by using an established program that is hosted elsewhere and accessible anywhere. Office visits thus open up and staff can be streamlined to provide the most efficient and necessary tasks.
Remote Monitoring and Treatment
Automation has come a long way including providing medical tech that can monitor a patient’s vitals, treatment, and condition and report back to the healthcare team via the cloud. Patients don’t have to go into the hospital or office nearly as much and because the information is shared through the cloud it is accessible anywhere and at any time to health care professionals who can maximize time and efficiency.
Physicians and other healthcare team members can also use IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled devices to monitor patients. Simply put, wearable tech that tracks health and habits can be used to keep track of devices and readings, and monitor patients. A common use of this type of technology is sleep apnea machines which don’t simply help the patient but also report back to the supervising doctor information on the number of times during sleep the patient needed assistance, and the times that difficulty occurred, giving greater, real time data to medical professionals and custom care to patients.
Disaster Relief and Recovery
Cloud computing is one of the safest methods of backing up information which means that there is virtually no risk in the event of a fire or other disaster since the information is not stored in a physical location. Records, research notes, and all other information is secure and can simply be accessed or downloaded at any time there is a connection. This also benefits patients in a situation where they have to be treated elsewhere -- information is still accessible thanks to the shareability of the cloud.
Research is Easier
When doctors are working on research that looks at global information with massive amounts of data, the cloud doesn’t slow down. Health systems can scale up for their memory needs and information is readily accessible at any time or place -- no waiting for someone to email, fax or otherwise deliver information making research faster and more accurate.
Virtual Desktops & Hosted Desktops
A common way cloud computing assists in health care is through the use of Hosted desktops. These cloud computing solutions allow any console to serve as the user’s own desktop when they log in with their username and password. A healthcare worker can use their credentials on any device in the system, including a BYOD device, and see their own, personalized and customized desktop with appropriate apps, files, and permissions. Nothing has to be carried, borrowed, or printed.
Cloud computing in healthcare is growing exponentially. With compliance a major concern IT companies and providers are in the know when it comes to compliance legalities and appropriate safety measures. Cloud computing services for healthcare are built in a way that address these matters and make all the speed, savings, and efficacy of the cloud available without the risks of older, outdated systems.