A Hesitant Start
Cloud services have witnessed wide adoption in multiple sectors, from the government to retail, and the adoption has been rising lately due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. While several other sectors that have already adopted cloud services faced an easy transition to the upgrade, the story for the healthcare sector has not been the same. As compared to the other sectors, healthcare has had quite a hesitant journey in the cloud services sphere.
There are good reasons for the delays faced by the healthcare industry in adopting cloud services. Perhaps, the biggest challenge so far has been related to security as the healthcare industry is one the most sensitive industries, security wise. The general concerns surrounding the state of security of cloud services has acted as a deterrent to the healthcare sector migrating to the cloud.
Healthcare Warms Up To Cloud
Nonetheless, things have been looking up lately, majorly due to the significant strides made by cloud sector in security enhancements, and the healthcare sector is now rapidly benefiting from cloud services. So much so that some studies predict that the healthcare IT market is projected to reach $390.7 billion in 2024, up from $187.6 billion in 2019 with a CAGR of 15.8% for the forecast period.
As we have already covered in our past blogs, cloud adoption has been expedited for many industries due to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Perhaps, the healthcare sector has had the most challenging journey in this regard. As is obvious, healthcare was the one industry that was the most impacted by the onslaught of this global pandemic.
Healthcare and Cloud Services Amid COVID-19
The commendable job done by the healthcare sector in tackling the coronavirus pandemic is no easily achievable feat. If not the most important, cloud services did play a major role in enabling the healthcare industry to tackle this global crisis in such a splendid manner. Cloud services rushed to fill in the gaps in the healthcare industry to help the frontline workers as well as fuel the research for a vaccine.
All the major cloud providers ushered in to aid the healthcare industry tackle one of the most challenging scenarios of modern times. Whether it was AWS partnering with Moderna for the development of a new vaccine, or Google Cloud releasing free query for COVID-19 data sets, cloud industry worked closely with the healthcare sector in this fight against the coronavirus.
The compute and analytical services provided by the cloud has enabled the healthcare sector to grapple a lot of challenges presented by COVD-19. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) services fueled by cloud technology have enabled researchers and even government agencies to prepare predictive models for COVID-19. These AI/ML services have ensured that frontline healthcare workers can prepare for every uncertainty in advance, from medical supply chain issues to response strategies.
The Way Ahead
This expedited adoption of cloud services in the healthcare sector is also due to the huge strides in privacy made by cloud services. Cloud technology has come a long way since the times when the healthcare sector was concerned about the privacy of sensitive data. The aforementioned AI/ML solutions have reached the level of sophistication wherein it can provide data while keeping the patient’s privacy intact. This has opened up new doors for collaborative research and data aggregation in the healthcare sector.
Some cloud giants have even come up with solutions that can proactively detect sensitive data and handle it appropriately before passing the information along. Nonetheless, cloud services industry still has a long way to go in allaying the concerns of the healthcare sector when it comes to reliability, security, and privacy. However, even the healthcare sector can still hugely benefit from cloud services industry. The sheer scalability, compute power, and mobility offered by cloud services can take healthcare to new heights. It is high time the healthcare industry adopted cloud services and made telemedicine a thing of the past.