Healthcare in the Cloud: Good and Bad and Around the World
What field isn’t the cloud revolutionizing right now? From music to entrepreneurship, virtually every relevant sector is capitalizing on some aspect of the cloud in order to improve efficiency and — one hopes as a byproduct — creativity as well. Healthcare is not immune to the effects of cloud, either. The data storage concept is equipping the field to streamline and adapt to modern medicine. However, cloud’s advantages to healthcare come with both a good and bad side.
Let’s start with the good news: cloud computing is set to potentially renovate the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Medical focused organizations stand to profit immensely, in both time and money, from the cloud’s nifty capacity of conveniently storing data elsewhere. Hospitals worldwide are eager to adopt the technology and improve their efficiency.
Now for the bad news: developed countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, will likely see little to none of this growth — at least for a while. The economic recession has made it much less attractive for cloud computing companies to invest in such big markets at these, which now concentrate on slashing budgets and spending conservatively.
Instead, cloud suppliers are focusing their efforts on up-and-coming economic climates, like those that continue to steadily grow in India and Taiwan, which are a bit more accepting of a promising yet radical concept as cloud. Speaking of India, the country so deeply believes in cloud computing that the state has actually taken ownership of a company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (or BSNL), that has recently launched cloud data centers for healthcare in six cities nationwide, including Mumbai and Jaipur. This news couples with a boom in the number of cloud companies that specialize in storing Electronic Medical Records for hospitals, as indicated by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information.
For the pharmaceutical sector, professional opinion on the cloud’s potential helpfulness for research and development has skyrocketed. In biology, for instance, cloud computing seems like an advantageous method of managing a boon in data resulting from deeper scholarship in DNA sequencing. Completing sets of data in such an enormous endeavor generates entirely too much data for one computer to hold. Enter the cloud, which not only houses that data, but also frees up researchers to conduct more expansive clinical trials and communicate more effectively with others in the same (or a disparate but still relevant) field.
By Jeff Norman