Cloud computing has change the way we access information no matter where we are. Instead of operating systems in silo, cloud computing enables us to make use of software hosted on other computers.
Unfortunately, healthcare industry has been slow to take advantage of cloud computing and similar technologies. The lack of modern technology in the healthcare industry had prevent physicians from performing their best in what they do. There are many reasons for this, such as data privacy of patient health records and the regulations around data security.
Benefits of Cloud Computing In Healthcare
Generally, cloud computing enables ease of access to information and services than a local system. Like any other industries, the most direct benefit is the ability to easily store, search and exchange patient health records.
In pre-digital era, every provider collects their own set of patient health records, and storing them in incompatible ways. This hinders the speed of information exchange and can lead to many errors, especially when dealing with medications and procedures.
As healthcare industry slowly transits to incorporate cloud computing, electronic medical records (EMRs) have become more widely used. With EMR services hosted on the cloud and run by professionals, it is one less burden on healthcare providers in managing their own systems.
Healthcare providers can now store years’ worth of medical records without the worry of costly storage space and management of physical documents. Even better, digital records are indexed and easily searchable, creating a smoother clinical workflow.
Towards a Connected Healthcare Ecosystem
Governments across the globe are promoting the use of EMRs and cloud-based healthcare information systems. Benefits such as ease of information exchange allows doctors to provide better treatment faster and more accurately.
One such example is the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) in Singapore – a secure system that collects summary patient health records across different healthcare providers. Tentatively by 2020, healthcare providers in Singapore would be connected to the centralized information exchange system, facilitating information exchange nationwide.
These systems can also be used as collaborative platforms, allowing healthcare providers from different countries to share information quickly and solve problems together.
Healthcare is quickly becoming a cloud-centric industry. It may be happening slowly, but eventually the need for fast and accurate data will reshape the way healthcare is delivered in the near future.