Across many different industries, cloud computing has already contributed to cutting costs, sharing information, and increasing productivity. Now the cloud has its sights set on the healthcare industry. In 2011, cloud computing in healthcare was worth $1.8 billion; by 2017 it is expected to grow to $5.4 billion. The growth will be driven by many different factors that will fuel the growth, but physicians are urged to make the switch sooner, rather than later.
Current Changes in Health Care and Payment Processing:
With Health Care reform and payment processing, the cloud will become a cost effective tool for the health care industry. As cloud payment processing is paid incrementally, health care providers, physicians and health care organizations only have to pay for what they need when they need it rather than purchasing all of the equipment up front.
New changes in health care will also create the need for additional file storage, collaboration and faster information processing. The cloud has already proven to be successful in these areas of business throughout other industries by combining mobile computing, unlimited cloud storage and the ability to send large files over the internet. As the health care industry continues to convert to cloud computing, we will see faster diagnostics, collaboration between physicians, and the ability for physicians to access information from anywhere.
These features will drive many physicians to make the change now, as others may wait until the cloud has a proven rate of cost savings within the industry. The cost and time to make the switch currently holds back most in the industry. However, many physicians who are opening new practices are starting with cloud services rather than changing later.
Health Care Security and the Cloud:
Since the introduction of the cloud as a business standard, security has always been a question and concern. Unlike some of the other industries currently using the cloud, the health care industry is based on sensitive patient information. However, new innovations and detail has been put into creating HIPAA-compliant cloud services.
These services include cloud storage, offsite backup, file transfer and sharing, and cloud application hosting. Health care organizations can feel secure while still utilizing the technology cloud computing, the cost savings, and the increase in care and productivity.
The cloud is more versatile and beneficial than many people realize. The ease of use, multi-platform support, and real-time accessibility is causing the cloud to change technology and business as we know it. As more organizations in the health care industry adopt cloud computing, we will see an increase in personal care and less data loss regardless of which hospital or physician we see.