A recent study by HIMSS Analytics has found that the healthcare industry is showing growing interest in the Cloud. Compared to 22 per cent two years ago, 46.7 per cent of global healthcare providers now plan to use the Cloud for back-office functions.
Over one in three respondents said they already have a patient engagement tool hosted in the Cloud. Popular reasons for implementing the Cloud include patient empowerment tools (73 per cent), big data analytics (59 per cent) and meeting business requirements, such as PACS (picture archiving and communication system) storage (55 per cent).
Telehealth, the delivery of health-related services and information via connected technologies, may be a hot topic in the healthcare industry, but providers are still focused on delivering key outcomes with technology. According to HIMSS, the biggest drivers for Cloud adoption are cost savings, disaster recovery and scalable platforms that support internal requirements.
Try before you buy
Earlier in the year, research firm, MarketsandMarkets, forecasted the use of Cloud services in the global health care industry will grow from $3.73 billion in 2015 to $9.5 billion in 2020. Their survey also found that three-quarters of Cloud implementations were to support finance, operations and HR.
For many healthcare providers, the Cloud is used for business operations in order to streamline costs and free up on-site resources for critical care. Moving private patient records to the Cloud does not seem to be an immediate priority for the characteristically security-sensitive industry.
However, by test driving the Cloud for back-office functions, healthcare providers are expected to become comfortable with Cloud technologies. This experience will then help them scale up the role of the Cloud to include end patients.
The future of healthcare
Cloud has been a key topic in most industry sectors for the last few years, so it is no surprise that the healthcare space is heading in the same direction. By using the Cloud today, healthcare providers are already helping to make the technology a foundation for the future of healthcare delivery.
When it came to adopting the Cloud, a key observation made by HIMSS was that the majority of respondents (77 per cent) involved their network provider early in their Cloud discussions. The reason for this is that a fast and reliable network connection is crucial in delivering on the benefits of the Cloud.
To that end, BTAS Connect uses fast fibre as the backbone to deliver high speed Internet and Wi-Fi to mid-size organisation. In addition to offering choice to healthcare providers in terms of design and architecture, it delivers cost efficiency by providing the latest in technology and increased competitiveness around pricing in the market.
With fast fibre at its core, BTAS Connect offers unlimited business-grade Internet at speeds up to 400Mbps from $800 (plus GST) per month. (Minimum cost $23,620 over 24 months, not available at all premises. For more details go to www.btas.com.au/connect).