Frost & Sullivan: Cloud Will Reign over Healthcare
According to market research by Frost & Sullivan, the cloud is expected to be the single most important enabler to healthcare trends of the future, from electronic medical records to remote patient monitoring.
As healthcare providers throughout the globe grapple with rising healthcare costs and an increased demand for care, the search is on for tools that could help overcome these issues and bring about a revolution in the way we capture and spread medical information.
According to its “Analysis of Healthcare Cloud in APAC,” Frost & Sullivan has found that cloud technologies, including software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, which are rapidly entering into the healthcare sector, are set to expand at a compound rate of 22.3 percent per year between 2012 and 2018.
In Asia-Pacific (APAC), where the research was conducted, healthcare expenditure is also set to rise to meet the needs of its growing elderly population, which Frost & Sullivan expects will further drive the digitization of healthcare through the adoption of electronic medical and health records.
In the case of patients who require continuous health monitoring, APAC is already using telehealth and remote patient monitoring in the cloud to transmit vital physiological information to doctors even at a distance.
From a consumer standpoint, the report finds that the cloud will also be helpful to overcome the predominant culture in APAC where patients carry large sums of money when visiting a hospital rather than insurance cards. Instead, cloud-enabled data collaboration could bring insurance information into an integrated healthcare market that would only require a biometric identifier or mobile phone to pay for healthcare services.
So why hasn’t this begun on a larger scale already? The analysis explains that healthcare providers in the study were already aware of the benefits the cloud can offer, but are waiting to find a technology partner with which they can trust that their data will be kept private and secure.
While healthcare IT vendors are often quick to tout improved security and back-ups, the study showed that hospital CIOs aren’t yet convinced, resulting in the greater popularity for private clouds in healthcare while other industries move to public or hybrid models. And for many CIOs who have already put money into a private cloud, the Frost & Sullivan analyst reported that the cost for a transition to a public cloud was too great to justify.