Healthcare: Confidence in Cloud Computing grows
healthcare-in-europe.com comments on Johan Sjöberg, a medical physicist at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, who claims that cloud computing in healthcare is a couple of decades behind the rest of society.
“The purpose of a well-functioning healthcare system is to provide excellent care to its patients at the lowest cost possible. This is what value-based healthcare is all about,” says Sjöberg. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers aren’t entirely there yet. “What is a cloud? It’s just somebody else’s computer, right? There’s nothing magical about it,” Johan Sjöberg suggests. “But there are a lot of benefits that are attributed to the concept of a cloud service. “You have a central repository. It’s simple to build interfaces between the different layers in the databases. That offers the opportunity to roam the data and actually pull some interesting information from those databases, which is valuable to our patients. It’s a shared platform. It offers a lot of opportunities, not just for data management, but also for communication management.”
Sjöberg notes that the amount of data generated in healthcare today is “quadrupling every second year”, yet the challenge lies in figuring out if there’s anything interesting in that health data.
What the cloud environment does is break down the silo walls and enables a more holistic view on patient care, according to Thomas Friese, Head of Digital Platform for Siemens Healthineers. He notes that many leading-edge cloud solutions are forward looking in terms of the applications and benefits they can offer a healthcare enterprise. “The cloud offers a good opportunity to easily add on or migrate to new applications; it enables you to easily evolve.”
Continuously improving care
Cloud computing allows healthcare enterprises to utilize the latest technology at a fraction of the cost and deployment time of a local installation. For example, providers of cloud-based AI applications are highly scalable and can use a practically unlimited number of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). A cloud environment seamlessly unites healthcare professionals in a large-scale team effort, making the knowledge and insights of individual professionals available across a global network. Big data becomes readily available, accessible, and easy to analyze as data sets located anywhere in the world are available to improve diagnostic capabilities, provide integrated decision support, and help physicians get a comprehensive view of a patient’s condition. Individualized treatment plans can increasingly be developed from valuable quantitative data. Enterprise-wide artificial intelligence-based assistants can serve as a clinical decision support mechanism (CDSM) for referring physicians ordering imaging tests.
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