Challenges and Opportunities Posed by Multi-Cloud Adoption to the Healthcare Sector
With no stone left unturned, cloud marketing is gradually increasing its reach over the healthcare industry. The global healthcare cloud computing market will reach $52.26 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 28.5%.
In just five short years, the cloud has successfully transformed itself from a mere unproven concept to a way of life for healthcare.
With further evolution in the technology and IT landscape, cloud computing takes healthcare systems even further. But, paired with these opportunities come specific challenges that might be tedious to overcome.
If you want to know more about these opportunities and challenges that multi-cloud computing poses to the healthcare industry, read on!
Challenges Posed by Multi-Cloud Adoption in the Healthcare Industry
Below mentioned are some typical challenges faced by healthcare industries in an attempt to adopt multi-cloud technology:
1. Risk of Loss of Data
The onset of cloud computing technology has made access to health information easier. Consumers have been reaping the benefits of this for the past few years due to an increase in health applications and a shift towards electronic health information.
But the stakes are a little different for healthcare organizations, which have to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This act mandates certain privacy standards that call for patient medical records and other health information to be protected.
If the organization fails to comply with HIPAA, it might have to pay fines up to $50,000 per violation (maximum $1.5 million annually). On top of that, the negative publicity will hurt the organization even more.
That is definitely a big reason to worry and one of the top challenges cloud adoption faces in the healthcare industry.
2. Cost of Compliance
Following up on the HIPAA policies might prove to be a bit expensive, considering the fact that they are incredibly stringent. Upon migration to the cloud, yearly compliance audits can go up to $250,000, burning a significant hole in your company’s finances.
3. Skills of Existing Resources
With the healthcare infrastructure not so evolved in certain places, migration to the cloud can be challenging. They might not have the resources necessary for handling cloud cyber security assistance.
That is why they will need to hire an IT contractor or other professional services to ensure their healthcare tech’s successful migration and integration with multi-cloud computing systems.
4. Level of Complexity of Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Environments
Cloud storage demands a particular skill set to secure data in compliance with HIPAA. Therefore, hiring someone with a matching skill set is critical to keep the boat afloat.
Moreover, each cloud provider is required to have its own set of tools and solutions to uphold compliance.
Opportunities for the Healthcare Industry via Cloud Computing
Despite challenges, the integration of cloud technology in the healthcare system opens up many doors for the future. Here are some of the top opportunities in front of healthcare systems post-adoption of multi-cloud.
1. Managing Logistical Challenges
Cloud computing systems simplify navigating logistical challenges, streamlining processes such as increasing personal protective equipment with increased patient loads, etc.
Leveraging AI to automate logistical functions can ensure work efficiency, especially in times like the pandemic.
For instance, the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore adopted a similar model when COVID-19 cases rose. Singapore’s Tan Tock Seng Hospital used an automation program coded to give beds to people who need them the most. This bifurcation was done based on the medical information provided to the program. As a result, only two or three staff members were required to manage around 2,000 hospital beds.
Cloud technology can also assist hospitals by allowing them to run what-if scenarios without relying on physical hardware. This technology can allow hospitals to fabricate realistic simulations by analyzing population data (number of people in a specific age group, gender group, medical histories, etc.).
Another successful implementation of cloud technology was adopted by Rush University, which helped the healthcare workers to speed up the time required for diagnosis. The system also helped them predict the number of cases that needed attention and consequently ensured they had prepared enough resources.
2. Scaling Healthcare Systems
According to a report by Nutanix, 51% of healthcare organizations have expanded their usage of hybrid-cloud computing systems. That is because cloud technology goes a long way in providing an organization with hassle-free scalability and flexibility for its system.
Cloud users can match the usage demands since they can quickly scale the cloud’s capacity. On top of that, it also decreases the time taken to provision IT infrastructure.
Clinicians no longer need to go through a tedious procurement process since they now possess the ability to run machine learning models simulations.
For instance, National Children’s hospital in the USA faced a major roadblock because their legacy systems could only store patient information for up to three days. But with the integration of cloud systems, they now have access to long-term data storage and improved quality care.
From that point on, the hospital could even analyze 20 years’ worth of air quality to understand potential triggers for Asthma.
3. Low Operating and Computing Costs
With the healthcare industry being so extensive, one of its main concerns is to cut costs while maintaining the same or higher standard of care. That is where cloud computing can come in and solve your woes.
Since cloud workloads run on a significantly smaller IT footprint, healthcare providers need not invest too much in their computing infrastructure. All they have to do is pay for cloud services on a subscription basis, optimizing their IT spending.
4. Streamlining Patient Care
Cloud computing systems can make patient-centric processes such as intelligent data analysis, secure data storage, telehealth, low IT overheads, etc., possible.
Therefore, it plays a big part in streamlining patient care since most of these processes don’t require human intervention and are automated.
As a result, the patient experiences cheaper healthcare, personalized care, better drugs, etc.
Therefore, from the above article, it is evident that the adoption of multi-cloud technology is vital for the growth of any healthcare organization.
There are risks associated with cloud adoption, but by taking necessary precautions, they can be mitigated. So, if you haven’t already integrated cloud technology into your healthcare system, it is never too late.