The novel coronavirus has brought the world to its knees. In America alone, there are more than 550,000 cases of the disease, with a death toll of 22,000, according to data provided by worldometer. This is definitely a human tragedy. At the same time, this highly contagious disease has put tremendous strain on all our industries, and mostly on healthcare.
Even before the pandemic, our healthcare system was under duress, because of the aging population of America. The COVID-19 outbreak has put it under strain like never before. Hospitals are facing shortages of equipment, nursing staff, and even certain medicines. Despite all this, our healthcare system has done a commendable job in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Cloud Computing: The Unsung Hero During COVID-19
Technological advancements have influenced the success of the healthcare industry, but has often gone unnoticed. One such technology is cloud computing, which allows healthcare centers to store a large amount of data offsite. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities generate massive amounts of data. And storing this data in servers onsite or in filing cabinets is restrictive in terms of cost and space. In fact, around 75% of the IT budget of healthcare organizations goes towards maintaining their servers! This leaves no scope for upgradation and innovation. In the end, many organizations just end up not storing the data at all and missing out on analytics and data-driven decision making, say experts at The Ark Marine Solutions.
But with cloud computing, it becomes much easier. They are generally cheaper and there are subscription-based models. The pay-as-you-go structure enables companies to avoid massive infrastructure costs and pay only for what they use. In fact, big data has proven helpful even in predicting epidemics and pandemics! Data can also pick up subtle correlations in the illness of patients as well as finding the best course of treatment. The data which was once thrown away can be analyzed using complex algorithms to save lives!
Another benefit of cloud computing is that it allows collaborative patient care. With the help of cloud computing, electronic medical records of the patient can be streamlined. This means that doctors from anywhere can look at the records of a patient and work in collaboration with each other. This has been extremely important in the case of COVID-19, as doctors and researchers can go through the complete medical information of the patients and look for better cures and treatment.
Cloud computing also helps in increasing data interoperability in the healthcare sector. There is growing prevalence of IoT enabled products in the healthcare sector. But without cloud computing, efficient sharing of information between devices would not have been possible.
Apart from this, cloud computing is highly scalable. With the click of a button, you can ask your provider for more or less space. All these factors have helped predict that the global healthcare cloud computing market would grow to a value of $35 billion by 2022, according to a report by BCC Research.