Shifting Attitudes Clears the Way for Healthcare Cloud Adoption

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Modern platform solutions in healthcare need to allow different deployments. One of them is cloud storage and processing. Cloud computing is changing healthcare, but organizations are scratching the surface when it comes to fully realizing the potential benefits cloud can offer for real-time data processing, health information exchange, and backup and business continuity.

For those organizations yet to take advantage of the cloud, the risks and missed opportunities are significant. They’re foregoing enhanced user experiences; faster and more efficient scalability and  predictable costs; faster system deployment; enhanced data security; potentially profound improvements in diagnosis and treatment by leveraging artificial intelligence and analytics; and the ability to use data to help remain in compliance with regulations.

What are the full benefits and what may make more healthcare providers migrate to the cloud?  Says Johan Sjöberg, a medical physicist at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, “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 in the end.”

Compliance and data privacy

Early cloud adopters faced concerns about security, which were soon alleviated once best practices were put in place. Likewise, among the top concerns for healthcare providers are patient privacy and regulatory compliance — patient privacy is what every healthcare professional lives and breathes. But this time, the regulatory climate is driving the industry’s appetite for a digital solution

Thomas Friese, Head of Data Architecture and Digital Technologies for Siemens Healthineers, notes that designers of cloud solutions have privacy benchmarks such as GDPR ingrained into their thinking. He says healthcare enterprises can realize enhanced security via the cloud. Patient privacy’s importance looms even larger when the conversation turns to putting terabytes of data in a cloud.

“By sharing the infrastructure and the resources that [are involved with] security in no way compares to what any isolated institution can do,” Friese says.

Better Health Outcomes

Cloud-enabled data and analytics can improve treatment and outcomes for patients. For example, coronary calcification detection may support preventive care using AI tools via the cloud. The future of concurrent automated coronary artery calcium scoring as part of low-dose CT examinations of a lung cancer screening program may support in defining the best suitable treatment decision.

Siemens Healthineers’ Friese points to situations in hospital trauma wards, where time is critical. An assessment for a stroke patient can be expedited with a centralized application and analysis capability as well as global access to medical experts.

Shifting Attitudes

Established providers of cloud security –   Microsoft, Google, Amazon – all devote huge resources to security because their reputation is based on this. The mindset for privacy is changing on the patient side, too. Nearly 60 million adults in the United States are expected to wear personal data devices in 2020, creating a mindset of sharing data over a network. That acceptance will set expectations for healthcare providers.

“Everything that you’re so accustomed to in your private life is going to take over in the healthcare space,” explains Ole Nygaard, Head of Digital for Nordics at Siemens Healthineers. “We may soon not even own a car, but rather be part of a fleet of self-driving vehicles. This change is largely based on the availability of cloud services. A similar development is happening in healthcare.”

A platform that offers cloud and more

With the teamplay digital health platform, Siemens Healthineers offers a compliant infrastructure that allows its users to flexibly choose their preferred way of data provision and processing depending on the application and customers’ specific use case: while some scenarios might need to be processed on-premises (locally) via edge computing, others can benefit from being stored and processed in the cloud. By supporting this hybrid computing, healthcare providers do not need to make an either-or decision. They can leverage both deployment formats, and thus enabling healthcare apps to process and store data locally while being connected to and managed from the cloud.

Digital transformation can make the lives of caregivers and patients easier. However, it is neither efficient nor enough to add one solution to the other in an isolated manner. Healthcare providers can benefit from using the scalable and flexible teamplay digital health platform that inherits the global expertise of a reliable partner with healthcare domain know-how based on a large installed base and long-term experience.

A scalable digital platform can be an important enabler of healthcare providers’ digital transformation, improving operational efficiency and clinical effectiveness by providing the right data, for the right patient at the right time.

Moreover, the teamplay digital health platform ensures caregivers´ future-readiness by giving them access to innovations like transformative and AI-powered digital health solutions to support decision-making and provide better care along the entire patient pathway.

Do you want to learn more about digital platforms and cloud processing? Click here to visit the Siemens Healthineers website.

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